November 29 & 30 - Wall Stadium - Turkey Derby - 1st and 2nd
Matt Hirschman of Northampton, Pa. and Anthony Sesely of Matawan were Modified stock car winners during the 40th annual Turkey Derby racing events at Wall Stadium. It was the second straight Tour Modified win for Hirschman while Sesely won his first ever Wall/SK Modified Turkey Derby race after finishing second in recent years.In Saturday’s Tour Modified 150-lap race Danny Bohn of Mooresville, N.C. jumped to the lead at the outset and held this ground through several restarts while being pressured by Hirschman and several others. Hirschman pitted for tires and fuel with other competitors on lap 81 and then began his climb through the field from the rear.Bohn finally pitted for his tires and fuel on lap 118 as Hirschman was completing his run to the front. Holding off challenges Hirschman then raced on to victory followed by Doug Cody, Rowan Pennink, Ryan Preece and Michael Bohn. Danny Bohn finished seventh behind Jamie Tomaino.“It’s real tough to give up that track position when you have to get tires and fuel,” Hirschman said. “It’s real tough to be patient when you are trying to come back through the pack. It took a lot of patience and a great car and crew to win this race today.”
Sesely jumped to the lead in the Wall/SK Modified 100-lapper early but had lots of pressure all the way. Freehold’s Steven Read and Howell’s Jimmy Blewett swapped the top spot with Sesely in the mid portion of the race. Late in the event this battled erupted in the fourth turn with lots of contact and Blewett, Read and several others tangling as a result.Sesely made it through the chaos and then raced on to the win. Hirschman, Zack Alspach of Willingboro, Howell’s Chris Lane and Michael Zervais wrapped up the top five finishers.“You had three guys racing on the edge who all wanted this win,” Sesely said of the fourth turn tangle. “I feel bad that it happened but it was just good hard racing. There isn’t a lot of room out there when you’re going as fact as we are.”
MATT HIRSCHMAN #60
2 DOUG COBY #20
3 ROWAN PENNINK #93
4 RYAN PREECE #7
5 MIKE BOHN #65
6 JAMIE TOMAINO #99
7 DANNY BOHN #65
8 ANDY JANKOWIAK #73
9 LES HINKLEY #06
10 JASON TREAT #33
11 DAVID CALABRESE #04
12 ANDREW KRAUSE #0
13 SHAUN CARRIG #54
14 JEFF MALAVE #2
15 SHANNON MONGEAU #20
16 BRIAN DEFEBO #53
17 TOMMY FARRELL #08
18 JIMMY ZACHARIAS #4
19 ERIC MAURIELLO #14
20 RYAN SONES #12
21 DANNY BOUC #19
22 STEN REED #55
23 EARL PAULES #8
24 JIMMY BLEWETT #76
25 DAVE SAPIENZA #5
26 SHAWNA INGRAHAM #15a
27 TIM ARRE #44
SK Turkey Derby Results
1 ANTHONY SESELY #16
2 MATT HIRSCHMAN #41
3 ZACH ALSPACH #30
4 CHIS LANE #88
5 MIHAEL GERVAIS #22
6 ADAM LACICIERO #27
7 ANDREW KRAUSE #27k
8 RON FREES #43
9 CHARLIE KREMER #77
10 NICOLE MORGILLO #56
11 JIMMY ZACHARIAS #4
12 CHAS OKERSON #99
13 SHAWNA INGRAHAM #66
14 ROB SCHULTZ #10
15 STEVEN REED #55
16 ROWAN PENNINK #76
17 ROBERT GEIBEL #57
18 DAVE DANIELS #72
19 TREVOR ALSPACH #91
20 GLENN SLOCUM JR. #12
21 CHRIS REYNOLDS #45
22 ERIC MAURIELLO #14
23 DEREK HOPKINSON #17
51's Short Track Power: Edition Four of 2013
Ranking the Best Out There - A 51 Original and TraditionOften imitated, but never duplicated, the Speed51.com power poll ranks drovers from all across the land on their strength to this point in the season. The year has all but ended in the Short Track world as we look back on the big wins and who won those important championships. A panel of industry experts from all four corners of the country and Canada have voted on their choices for this edition of Speed51.com's Short Track Power poll. Drivers in all forms of short track racing, including Late Models, NASCAR Touring Series, ARCA, Dirt Late Models and Modifieds, NASCAR Whelen All-American Series or ASA Member Track program and everything in between were eligible. Drivers who have competed in at least half of a NASCAR National Series schedule this season were not eligible. The rankings shown below were decided after polling our panel of experts in the industry. Rankings were based on overall number of votes, with more weight given to each vote the higher the vote. Example, a #1 vote would be more valuable than a #2, #3, etc. Here are the power rankings up until November for the 2013 short track racing season:
8) MATT HIRSCHMAN - RoC Modifieds, Modifieds
Some would have guessed a broken wrist would have not allowed Matt Hirschman to have his best season ever behind the wheel. Wrong. The second-generation driver captured his fifth North-South Shootout last weekend at Caraway for his 19th win of the 2013 season. The RoC title came easily with eight wins in 10 starts including a second Race of Champions event victory. If Matt Hirschman can end the year a Turkey Derby win then it could be the best Modified season in recent memory.
November 8 & 9 - North South Shootout - Caraway Speedway - Win
Matt Hirschman from Northampton, Pa., made a brilliant crossover move to pass George Brunnhoelzl III on lap 74 and win the 11th annual John Blewett North-South Shootout at Caraway (N.C.) Speedway on Saturday, while Ben Rowe from Turner, Maine became an unlikely winner in the PASS 150 after the top five cars all crashed on lap 146.The win was a record fifth NSS win for Hirschman. He led the first 52 laps before pitting for tires along with Brunnhoelzl and several others. Slowed on the restart, Hirschman found himself back in seventh place, but that did little to keep him from the front.Hirschman passed Gary Putnam to run second before lap 70, setting up the winning pass after the field was slowed for a spin by Tony Black. Four laps later, Hirschman made his move, going from the outside lane to the inside of Brunnhoelzl off turn two and into the lead.Brunnhoelzl was able to stay close to Hirschman, but he had to settle for a second place finish. Andy Seuss recovered from a turn one melee that sent him back to twelfth place for a lap 82 restart to finish third, with Brian Loftin and Tommy Barrett rounding out the top five.
NSS Caraway Tour -Type Modified 125 Finish: 1. Matt Hirschman, 2. George Brunnhoelzl III, 3. Andy Seuss, 4. Brian Loftin, 5. Tommy Barrett, 6. Charlie Pasteryak, 7. Jason Myers, 8. JR Bertuccio 9. Chuck Hossfeld, 10. Ron Silk, 11 Tommy Neal, 12 Austin Kochenash, 13 Nick Pecko, 14. Cole Powell, 15. Tommy Cloce, 16. Tom Buzze, 17. Gary Putnam, 18. Bryan Dauzat, 19. Danny Watts, 20. Kyle Ebersole, 21. Chris Pasteryak, 22. Tony Black, 23. Cody Ware, 24. Burt Myers, 25. Rich Parker, 26. AJ Winstead.
Saturday, October 26 - Mahoning Speedway - -130 lap
Zane Zeiner Cashes In With $5G Mahoning Valley Octoberfast Victory
By DINO OBERTO
When it comes to the big paying extra distance Modified races at Mahoning Valley Speedway everyone comes to expect the likes of either Eric Beers or Matt Hirschman to be vying for the win and most of those times Zane Zeiner has been in their shadow, always close but no cigar.For Zeiner, the big one is finally his. Yes, Hirschman did lead and looked his usual strong self and then Beers assumed command and was seemingly on his way to yet another victory until Zeiner stepped it up a notch with nine laps to go and made a race winning pass. He then drove the Gary Creaty owned No. 23 Modified to a $5000 victory in the season ending Octoberfast 2013 Presented by Tom Ring’s Brown Daub KIA.“This is great to finally get one of these 100 lap wins here,” said Zeiner from Victory Lane. “We just bided our time and saw the right opportunity to get by Eric (Beers) when it counted most.”;Not only did Zeiner score the win but his teammate, 2013 Mahoning Street Stock champion Chip Wanamaker, zipped past Beers on the final lap to take second. Austin Kochenash and Earl Paules, the only other cars running on the lead lap, completed the top five.The 130 lap feature would take much longer than expected to run as numerous cautions consumed much of the time. However, when the lights stayed green the full house of fans was treated to some exceptional competition.After a redraw from the four heats, Zeiner had the pole with Roger Coss alongside. When the race began Zeiner headed out front first and was quickly followed by third starting Chip Santee. After some close two-wide dueling, Santee rose to the front by lap four.At the same time there was an immense amount of tight racing behind him. Zeiner was battling with Paules and Don Wagne while Beers and Hirschman lurked nearby.Paules was running very strong and utilized the outside lane to pull past Zeiner and then go even with Santee for the lead which he did after a lap 14 restart. Not so quick to give up, Santee came right back on the ensuing lap and over the next dozen tours they continued a torrid dogfight.As the leaders fought, Hirschman took advantage of cautions and did some slick maneuvers to advance on their rear bumpers by lap 26. Coming from 14th on the grid, he took second from Santee on lap 30 and then set his sights on Paules.The race for the lead was again extreme. Paules held Hirschman at bay but not by much as they circled around the quarter mile in some very fan appealing side-by-side action. With Hirschman running the high side he finally unseated Paules at lap 51. Two laps later a caution was out and Paules pitted for tires, handing second over to Zeiner with Beers third.On the restart Beers made quick work of Zeiner and then went after Hirschman, eventually gaining the lead on lap 64. On the next lap the yellow was back out and Hirschman used that time to make a tire change.On the restart his day would come to an abrupt end as he was caught up in a jumble in which he collided with Mike Quinn. His car’s front end was damaged to the point that his crew was unable to get him back out in time for the restart and he would call it a night after 67 laps.With Beers still leading, the question was would be able to go the distance without a pit stop. Likewise with Zeiner as they both elected to stay on track while everyone else made at least one stop. Not only were their tires a concern but more so with fuel due to the high number of caution laps.Undaunted, they carried on. Beers was showing no signs of slowing nor conserving either as he was pulling away as the laps began clicking towards the finish. Then a caution with 15 laps to go would not only erase his comfortable lead but change the complexity of the race all together.As Zeiner lined up alongside him for the restart, Beers was not pulling ahead as he previously had. Zeiner saw this as his time to strike. Taking the high groove, he eased alongside with ten laps remaining and then vaulted into first on the next go around where he would stay to the checkers.“The longest race I had ever won here was a 76 lapper. We have been chasing these 100 lap races for a long time and this marks a huge victory for us. I can’t thank my crew and car owner Gary Creaty for all the hard work,” offered Zeiner.“Eric (Beers) was tough out there especially towards the end but like I said we just bided our time and the right opportunity came along.”;Wanamaker, who had moved into the top five with 25 laps left to run, found a burst of power after the last restart and went head to head with Beers after Zeiner had taken the lead. It wasn’t until the final lap that he secured the spot and made it a satisfying day for the team.“This was a great run and I owe it all to Zane (Zeiner),” said Wanamaker. “We got together this past week and worked real hard at getting everything in the car right for tonight and it was like a rocket out there. To be able to get around Eric Beers and then come home second to Zane and have a one-two finish as teammates is a gratifying feeling.”Beers noted that his demise came from a blistering tire that caused a serious shimmy and he was just holding on near the end. His finish did however earn him a second title on the year as he collected the overall championship for the Mahoning Modified Madness Series that nicely accompanies his track title.
Heats for the 29 Modifieds went to Eric Mauriello, Santee, Beers and Zeiner with Jimmy Zacharis annexing the consi.
With $3000 to win, the largest Dirt Modified field since 2005 came out to contend for the cash and glory in the 60-lap affair and taking top honors was Ricky Ross Jr., who made his first ever visit to the Leighton oval his biggest career win.Ross, who started seventh in the 24 car field, passed Ricky Yetter for the lead at the halfway mark and once in front never headed en route to the popular verdict.At the outset Yetter was on a mission as the track fan favorite blasted into the early lead from his outside row two starting spot. From there he was cruising, even setting fast time during the feature. Earlier he sped to a new track record with a Dirt Mod at 10.247-seconds so his strong upfront run was being justified as the feature began.Ross in the meantime got the feel for the track in a hurry. He was second by lap three but Yetter was maintaining a very comfortable distance. However, by lap 25 the gap was shortening as Ross began to reel in the leader.Yetter was having a tire issue as a leaking right rear caused him to slowly back down which gave Ross the chance to seize the lead just as the halfway signal was given.There would be no looking back from there on as he drove perfectly the rest of the way. Newly crowned class champion Jeff Parker eked by upstate New York ace Jessy Mueller on the final lap to get second while former champion Kris Graver, running Corey Renninger’s Big Diamond car, was fourth and Yetter, who had pitted for a new tire, blasted back through to take fifth.Ross, Steve Searock, Dave Gorbatuk and Yetter won heats with Mueller copping the consi.In the Street Stock finale, Stacey Brown and Chip Wanamaker swapped the lead over the first six laps. Afterwards Brown went to the helm for good and would stay the course the rest of the way, covering the 75 lap distance in a solid performance that saw him go most of the way dealing with a relentless Justin Mooney who tried repeatedly to get around.rown never let up his fight and held his ground from the inside lane. In the closing laps Zach Graver made a try but again it would be to no avail as Brown triumphantly took the checkers for his biggest career win which was worth $2000.Mooney settled for third with Todd Ahner and Lorin Arthofer II rounding out the top five.Lonnie Behler, Jillian Long, Graver and Wanamaker won their respective heats with the consi going to Jamie Smith.
Modified Feature Finish (130 Laps): 1. Zane Zeiner, 2. Chip Wanamaker, 3. Eric Beers, 4. Austin Kochenash, 5. Earl Paules, 6. Nevin George, 7. Tony Hirschman, 8. Brandon Oltra, 9. Jimmy Zacharias, 10. Roger Coss, 11. Bobby Jones, 12. Matt Wentz, 13. Ron Frees, 14. Matt Hirschman, 15. Don Wagner, 16. Mike Quinn, 17. Chip Santee, 18. Todd Baer, 19. Andrew Krause, 20. John Markovic, 21. Shawna Ingraham, 22. Eric Mauriello, 23. Lou Strohl, 24. Rick Kirkendall, 25. Eric Kocher
DNQ: Brain DeFebo, Bobby Drown, Wilton Nickerson, Bobby Wagner
Dirt Modified Feature Finish (60 Laps): 1. Ricky Ross Jr., 2. Jeff Parker, 3. Jessy Mueller, 4. Ricky Yetter, 5. Kris Graver, 6. Aleia Geisler, 7. David Hunt, 8. Mike Stofflet, 9. Steve Searock, 10. Bobby Butler, 11. Billy Lowden Jr., 12. Mark Martini, 13. Steve Folk, 14. Bill Sittler Jr., 15. Dave Gorbatuk, 16. Brad Grim, 17. Andrew Krause, 18. Matt Carman, 19. Jack Ely, 20. Dave Thomas, 21. Guy Harby, 22. Tom Cremmer, 23. Louie Mitchalk, 24. Rich Coons, 25. Bill Briggs
DNQ: Scott Adams, Frank Parastino, Tom Soldrich, Dion Naples, Scot Hulmes
Street Stock Feature Finish (75 Laps): 1. Stacey Brown, 2. Zach Graver, 3. Justin Mooney, 4. Todd Ahner, 5. Lorin Arthofer II, 6. Jillian Long, 7. Matt Wentz, 8. Kyle Strohl, 9. Lonnie Behler, 10. Kevin Kromer, 11. TJ Gursky, 12. Jonathan Tracey, 13. Steven Steigerwalt, 14. Chip Wanamaker, 15. Josh Mooney, 16. Jason Frey, 17. Mike Garris Jr., 18. Shawn Sitarchyk, 19. Howie Conk Jr., 20. Gene Bowers, 21. George Ramos, 22. Jamie Smith, 23. Austin Santee, 24. Aaron Kromer
DNQ: Willie Knappenberger, Cody Roth, Guy Ackerman, Jason Duke, Chris May, Paul Morgan Jr., Dennis Buss
Sunday, October 20 - Thompson Speedway - NASCAR TOUR - 7
With a pass for the lead with seventeen laps to go, Rowan Pennink of Huntingdon Valley, PA pulled away from the pack and never looked back to do what everyone wants to do in the last race of the season, make a trip to victory lane.Pennink held a convincing lead over Donny Lia, Ryan Preece, Bobby Santos and Ron Silk to score his second career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour win in the Sunoco World Series 150 presented by Xtra Mart at Thompson International Speedway.Ryan Preece, a threat for the win all day, crossed the line third to claim the coveted NWMT Championship title.“We’ve had so many good cars racing here but pit strategy and cautions never fell our way but today we pitted a little earlier than some people and it finally fell right for us today,” said Pennink whose 93 Monk Mechanics Hand Cleaner sponsored Chevrolet is owned by his dad Mark with Don Barker as the crew chief. “We had a great pit stop, was able to get out in front of a bunch of people and bring this thing into victory lane.”Pennink took the green 3rd but by the 15th circuit, was shadowing the leader, Coors Light Pole Award winner Bobby Santos. A restart after lap 42, Pennink was passed by Matt Hirschman then Mike Stefanik and Preece, the Monk Mechanic Hand Cleaner sponsored Chevrolet shuffled back to fifth by lap 45. As Matt Hirschman took the lead on lap 67, the caution waved for a spin in turns one and two. The majority of the field pitted including Pennink, Preece and leader Hirschman. Santos, who stayed out, inherited the lead and lined up with Stefanik, Ted Christopher, Eric Goodale and Doug Coby the top five.The fresh tires began to prevail as Preece passed for second on lap 84, his sights on Santos leading. Preece made his move taking over the top spot on lap 93. The soon to be crowned champion led for the next thirty one circuits.By lap 100, Preece continued to lead with Santos, Pennink, Ron Silk and Donny Lia the top five. A total of ten cautions kept the field close, every restart sort of jumbled the field as some cars moved forward, some back. Pennink settled into fourth behind Preece, Lia and Silk up to the caution on lap 120. With 30 to go, the restart had Lia passing Preece for the top spot. Pennink made his move for third then second by lap 128. Making his move low heading into turns three and four, Pennink got by Lia to become the newest and final leader on lap 133.Lia and Preece settled the podium in the closing circuits while after a late pit stop Santos powered through the field for fourth and Ron Silk who started the Sunoco 150 dead last, crossed for fifth.Donny Lia in the Bob Garbarino owned Dodge led several laps in the final third of the Sunoco 150 and after a hard battle with Preece finished second.“We were just really, really tight at the end. It was worse out front, better when I was behind cars. Rowan was just too good at the end and we were struggling tight. We’ve been good even when we’re not good. We were a little bit off tonight and we still were able to contend for the win. The last half of the year, we’ve been good. Hopefully this continues on the next season.” Lia ends the 2013 season third in points.Ron Silk of Norwalk, CT qualified his TS Haulers/Calverton Tree Farm Chevrolet 18th. But after time trials, the call was made to swap out engines. The call put Silk in the Ed Partridge ride dead last on the initial start but the effort by the Grasso’s and team was spot on as Silk was able to make his way through the pack and finish the World Series fifth.“It was a good way to end. To start last and to be up in contention, it was good,” said Silk. “I wasn’t quite sure after practice and I didn’t think we had enough time before time trials,” said Silk about the decision to change the engine. “But during qualifying, I’m not sure, but something wasn’t right. The guys worked yesterday afternoon, put in another motor – it was at least worth the effort. This is probably my favorite motor, I knew after two or three laps we were in pretty good shape. Ted was behind me- we were kind of working together, passing a lot of cars together. We were a little free the first run, made a small adjustment at the pit stop and went a little over, ended up a little tight to race those guys. But it was a good day- we started last, finished fifth, it was good. Today was back to where you expect this car to run.”Max Zachem of Preston, CT making his NWMT debut in the Mike Smeriglio team car finished sixth with Matt Hirschman seventh. Doug Coby, defending his title, rallied from early problems including being a lap down to finish a solid eighth, Todd Szegedy ninth and Justin Bonsignore tenth.“As a lot of people know, this is my favorite track,” said Pennink. “We always run good here whatever we’re in. With the 93, things have not fell right for us with late race cautions while we had a big lead, when we flipped here a couple of weeks ago running in the top three. Finally things fell the right way for us today. Once I got in the lead I was able to run away a little bit, cautions didn’t come out- we made it to victory lane.” Pennink pulled off a second place finish the night before in the VMRS and was crowned the 2013 VMRS Champion. “We’ve won a bunch of races here in the 25 car but its real special to get one in the 93 here, especially on World Series weekend. This has got to be the best racing weekend of my career so far. Hopefully we can build off of this and keep the wins coming a little more often.”“It was awesome,” said car owner Mark Pennink who was savoring the win with his wife Janice. “I know how hard Rowan works. As a family, we’re very happy for him. There are not very many family teams doing this and to be a successful family team is really, really hard and rare. Most of these kids are driving for other car owners. Rowan builds them, works on them, tows them- repairs them when they go upside down and races them. Rowan is really good here, he has been strong here, just hasn’t had the luck.” That changed today.The World Series lived up to its billing. For those in attendance, they witnessed a season finale that was full of hard racing and a celebration in victory lane with Pennink earning a win at a track that he loves but has not had the luck and a championship title awarded to the youngest driver ever in the history of the NWMT. More to come on Preece and his championship run here on The Chrome Horn, for now, it turns to rebuilding and preparing for the Icebreaker April 6, 2014.
Rowan Pennink won the Sunoco World Series 150 presented by Xtra Mart but it was Ryan Preece who left Thompson Speedway with the heavy hardware on Sunday as he captured the 2013 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship.Preece, from Berlin, Conn., capped off a stellar season highlighted by four wins for his first NASCAR touring series title. To do it, he had to dethrone defending champion Doug Coby, who entered Sunday as Preece’s lone competition.With a 26-point lead, however, Preece only had to finish 22nd or better to secure his first title. For good measure, Preece led 33 laps late in the race in the No. 16 East West Marine/Sophie’s Rest Ford and cruised to the crown with his seventh podium finish of the campaign.Preece had a stated goal heading into the day of being the only driver in Victory Lane as both the champion and race winner. Although he wasn’t able to accomplish both, Preece was nonetheless ecstatic following the event.
“We definitely had a really good car,” Preece said. “Things didn’t work out our way [to win the race], but the championship – the big picture – did and that’s what it’s all about. We race all year for this big crown at the end.”Preece, whose first Whelen Modified Tour victory came at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway in 2008, looked forward to adding the tour’s sizeable championship trophy to his collection.“Now I get to have this nice trophy in my room along with the [Martinsville] grandfather clock and everything else, so it’s awesome,” Preece said. “It’s just amazing right now.”Sunday’s checkered flag went to Rowan Pennink, who drove the No. 93 Monk Mechanics Hand Cleaner Chevrolet around Donny Lia on Lap 133 and held the lead through the 150th and final circuit for his second Whelen Modified Tour victory in what was his 100th career start.Pennink, from Huntingdon Valley, Pa., ended a 48-race winless drought with the triumph. In between wins he had four runner-up finishes, two of which came at Thompson, and a number of other near misses at the famed .625-mile oval.“We’ve had so many good cars racing here the last few years and pit strategy and cautions never fell our way,” Pennink said. “Today we pitted earlier than some people and it finally fell right for us. We were able to have a great pit stop, get out in front of a bunch of people and bring this think into Victory Lane.”Lia crossed the line second followed by Preece, polesitter Bobby Santos and Ron Silk. Max Zachem finished sixth in his Whelen Modified Tour debut while Matt Hirschman, Coby, Todd Szegedy and Justin Bonsignore brought home the top 10.
Coby, who celebrated his first championship following this same race last year at Thompson, had a large deficit to overcome to start the day if he wanted to keep the title. That challenge became even greater when he made contact with the wall on Lap 9 and ended up a lap down. Although he was able to get back on the lead lap and ultimately rally to a top-10 finish, Preece’s performance was too much to overcome.At 22 years, 11 months and 25 days, Preece – a member of the prestigious NASCAR Next program that highlights up-and-coming drivers – became the youngest champion in the 29-year history of the Whelen Modified Tour. He’s also the sixth different first-time tour champion in the last seven seasons, and the fourth in a row.The victory for Pennink carried some historical weight as well as he became the first driver to earn a Whelen Modified Tour victory in a car powered by a Spec Engine.The finale of the Whelen Modified Tour’s 14-race schedule featured six lead changes among five different drivers and was slowed by 10 caution periods.The Sunoco World Series 150 presented by Xtra Mart will be telecast on Fox Sports 1 on Sunday, Nov. 3 at 12 p.m. ET.
NASCAR WHELEN MODIFIED TOUR-Sunoco World Series 150 pres. by Xtra Mart
Sunday At Thompson Speedway, Thompson, Conn.
Lap length: 0.625 miles
(Start position in parentheses)
1. (3) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, Pa., Chevrolet, 150 laps, 73.738 mph.
2. (10) Donny Lia, Jericho, N.Y., Dodge, 150.
3. (5) Ryan Preece, Berlin, Conn., Ford, 150.
4. (1) Bobby Santos, Franklin, Mass., Chevrolet, 150.
5. (18) Ron Silk, Norwalk, Conn., Chevrolet, 150.
6. (8) Max Zachem, Preston, Conn., Ford, 150.
7. (7) Matt Hirschman, Northampton, Pa., Chevrolet, 150.
8. (11) Doug Coby, Milford, Conn., Chevrolet, 150.
9. (13) Todd Szegedy, Ridgefield, Conn., Chevrolet, 150.
10. (4) Justin Bonsignore, Holtsville, N.Y., Chevrolet, 150.
11. (12) Timmy Solomito, Islip, N.Y., Chevrolet, 150.
12. (17) Chuck Hossfeld, Ransomville, N.Y., Chevrolet, 150.
13. (14) Ron Yuhas, Jr., Groton, Conn., Chevrolet, 150.
14. (20) Woody Pitkat, Stafford, Conn., Pontiac, 150.
15. (16) Keith Rocco, Wallingford, Conn., Chevrolet, 150.
16. (2) Mike Stefanik, Coventry, R.I., Ford, 150.
17. (27) Glen Reen, Wilbraham, Mass., Chevrolet, 150.
18. (22) Jimmy Zacharias, Candor, N.Y., Chevrolet, 150.
19. (24) Jamie Tomaino, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 150.
20. (23) John Beatty, Jr., Merrick, N.Y., Chevrolet, 150.
21. (29) Dave Salzarulo, Monson, Mass., Chevrolet, 150.
22. (28) Wade Cole, Hartland, Conn., Chevrolet, 150.
23. (19) Ted Christopher, Plainville, Conn., Chevrolet, 144.
24. (26) Ken Heagy, Calverton, N.Y., Ford, 116.
25. (25) Ed Flemke, Jr., Southington, Conn., Chevrolet, 106, accident.
26. (21) Eric Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 85, accident.
27. (15) Bryon Chew, Mattituck, N.Y., Chevrolet, 74, accident.
28. (9) Rob Fuller, Boylston, Mass., Chevrolet, 37, accident.
29. (6) Cole Powell, Mt. Brydges, Ont., Canada, Chevrolet, 22, engine.
Time of Race: 1 hour 16 minutes 17 seconds
Margin of Victory: 0.971 seconds
Fastest Qualifier: B. Santos (120.244 mph, 18.712 seconds)
Caution Flags: 10 for 40 laps.
Lead Changes: 6 among 5 drivers.
Lap Leaders: B. Santos 1-66; M. Hirschman 67-70; R. Preece 71; B. Santos 72-92; R. Preece 93-124; D. Lia 125-132; R. Pennink 133-150.
Standings: 1. R. Preece, 549; 2. D. Coby, 517; 3. D. Lia, 496; 4. R. Pennink, 487; 5. M. Stefanik, 480; 6. T. Szegedy, 477; 7. R. Silk, 466; 8. J. Bonsignore, 464; 9. W. Pitkat, 457; 10. T. Christopher, 445.
Matt Hirschman Takes First “King of the Mountain” Sweep
By: Gene Ostrowski October 13, 2013
The “King of the Mountain” was the final points paying event of the season at Mountain Speedway and to put it lightly, all of the drivers let everything hang out Sunday afternoon through the evening with hopes of taking the crown in the 14th annual event. When the speedy dry settled Matt Hirschman of Northampton emerged from victory lane as the Sport Modified winner, thus sweeping the weekend in Modified competition. For the first time in his career, Matt Wentz of Lehighton bested the Street Stock field for the $2,000 prize and his first crown in the event and John Banashefski of Wilkes-Barre wired the Four Cylinder feature for the victory. Brendon Bock of Franklin Square, NY bested the INEX Legends drivers for the win and Ryan Tidman ran from last to first to score the TQ Midget victory.Hirschman time trialed quickest in Sport Modified qualifying, which earned him the S&D Bodyline Pole Award. After the redraw, Tony Hanbury started from the pole in the 75-lap event. The red flag waved for a small fire on Ronnie Mullen machine before the green flag dropped, but once it did, the yellow waved quickly when the top three ran side by side into turn one. The end result was hard contact for Barry Callavini, who slammed the foam barrier in turn one.Todd Baer came out with the race lead, but it was short lived after another yellow. Several caution flags waved in the early going and eventually, Hirschman emerged as the leader over Jerry Hildebrand, Mike Rodriguez, Paul Hartwig, Jr. and Dom Fattaruso.Hirschman remained steady throughout the show. He continued to lead with 25 laps remaining over Jason Hearne, who was involved in an incident in the early going. Hildebrand ran third with Brian Sones and Hartwig in tow.The last 25 laps were as eventful as the first fifty, but it didn’t faze Hirschman, who went on to take the checkers and the $2,000 prize for his efforts. Eric Muriello, Sones and Rodriguez completed the top five. The S&D Bodyline hard charger award went to Hearne, who also clinched the divisional champinship.
Sport Modifieds (75-laps) 1. MATT HIRSCHMAN 2. Jason Hearne 3. Eric Muriello 4. Brian Sones 5. Mike Rodriguez 6. Paul Hartwig Jr 7. Todd Baer 8. Jerry Hildebrand 9. Ron Frees 10. Shawna Ingraham 11. Dom Fattaruso 12. Tony Hanbury 13. Eric Banashefski 14. Curt Baununk 15. Ronnie Mullin 16. Barry Callavini
Matt Hirschman Continues Mountain Speedway Reign
By: Gene Ostrowski October 12, 2013
For the third straight time and fourth overall in his career, Northampton’s Matt Hirschman drove to victory lane Saturday evening in the track’s annual prestigious “King of the Mountain” (KOTM) Modified main event. He pocketed the $5,000 prize for his win in the 150-lap main event.Twenty-Five Modifieds ran time trials to set the field for the 150-lap main event and Jimmy Zacharias timed quickest. For his efforts, Zacharias was awarded the S&D Bodyline Pole Award. Zacharias redrew the pole for the main event and led the opening circuit over Matt Hirschman, Tony Hanbury, Brandon Oltra and John Markovic.Zacharias continued to show the way over Hirschman in the first third of the event until the caution flag waved when Earl Paules spun on the front stretch. The lap 86 yellow slowed the pace, allowing many drivers to pit for tires and adjustments. Nearly all of the drivers elected to pit, except for Zacharias and Ken Vogel, Jr. Green flag racing resumed with Hirschman in third, followed by Hanbury and Nick Pecko, who started twenty fifth on the grid.With 87 laps complete, Vogel grabbed the lead and then two laps later Hirschman overtook him for the spot. Hanbury followed through for second. With ninety laps on the scoreboard, Hirschman continued to show the way over Hanbury, Vogel, Zacharias and Pecko.
Zacharias’ day came to an abrupt end on lap 99 when his car stopped at the end of the front stretch. He was forced to exit the speedway via “the hook”.With the green flag back out and with 50 laps to go, Hirschman continued to set the pace over Hanbury, Vogel, Brian DeFebo and Pecko.DeFebo took the third spot from Vogel on lap 104 and then began to pressure Hanbury for second. Meanwhile, Darren Scherer began to climb upward. Scherer ran in fifth on lap 127 and then took fourth from Vogel five laps later. With four laps remaining he got by DeFebo for third.Even though a yellow flag waved with two laps remaining, Hirschman never skipped a beat and drove away with his third straight KOTM crown. Hanbury crossed the stripe second, followed by Scherer and DeFebo, the 2013 divisional champion. Pecko finished fifth, which earned him the S&D Bodyline “Hard Charger” award.“It’s great to win another King of the Mountain”, noted Hirschman in victory lane. “I’ve always considered this my home track, since I cut my teeth racing here. John Markovic gave me my first ride here back then and we were able to help him out with qualifying today.”
Hirschman went to victory lane in every race that he started at the speedway this season.
Modified (150-laps) 1. MATT HIRSCHMAN 2. Tony Hanbury 3. Daren Scherer 4. Brian DeFebo 5. Nick Pecko 6. Ken Vogel Jr 7. John Markovic 8. John Fortin Sr 9. Dave Brigati 10. David Sapienza 11. Earl Paules 12. Brandon Oltra 13. David Roys Jr 14. Lou Strohl 15. Brian Sones 16. Alan Creveling 17.Amber Fortin 18. Todd Baer 19. Randall Richard 20. John Fortin Jr 21. Barry Callavinni 22.Danny Bouc 23. Jimmy Zacharias 24. Jason Hearne 25. Dan Speeney
Saturday, October 5 - Mahoning Speedway - -WIN
It seems that whenever a 100 lap Modified race takes place at Mahoning Valley Speedway you are certain to see the likes of Matt Hirschman and Eric Beers dicing it out for the win. After all they have a combined 17 victories of the century mark races and for round four of the Mahoning Modified Madness Series (MMMS) the two would once again face off for the checkers. Give this one to Hirschman.Starting sixth, Hirschman would find his way into the lead on lap 51 and from then on held off Beers en route to the $3000 payday.In this latest edition of the wildly popular 100-lappers, a redraw from the heats would see Austin Kochenash and Beers share the front row. When the race commenced Kochenash, who earlier this year scored his first two wins in a Modified at Mahoning, jumped into the lead. Beers, the 2013 track champion, was surrounding him from all angles but “Kid Kochenash” would hold tight.DJ Wagner, Kris Graver and Nevin George would run near the front pair early on but once Hirschman moved up to third after a lap 39 restart, the race became a torrid affair.There was no telling that Kochenash was a Modified rookie as he ran steady and strong while turning back the two titans. To say they were running under a blanket would be an understatement as the action was incredibly close.
Things then became even more intense nearing the hallway point. Hirschman, who was still riding in third, suddenly surged past Beers and then kept the drive going as he dashed around Kochenash and into the lead just as the second half began.After a caution on lap 54 the remainder of the race went nonstop and Hirschman was faultless as he had little trouble in fending off Beers and claiming his second victory of the year.“I knew that was going to be tough with Austin (Kochenash) and Eric (Beers) on the front row but thankfully for us it all worked out. A whole opened up and after that it seemed like we were able to pull away,” said Hirschman. Eight of his 10 career Mahoning wins have now come in 100 lap features.Beers settled for second while a very strong running Brian DeFebo came home in third after passing Kochenash with 12 laps to go. Eric Kocher completed the top five.With the stretch of green flag laps from 53 to the finish, it allowed Hirschman the opportunity to flex his muscle. Late into the race Beers and DeFebo desperately needed a caution for a chance to pass.“So far this year when Eric (Beers) gets out front he doesn’t get passed. Tonight we were able to get the lead and after that I felt pretty good because I didn’t think he’d be able to beat me just like when I’d been behind him. He’s had the best season here no doubt but we’re going to finish strong with this and the Octoberfast 130,” said Hirschman who is now the MMMS heading into the $5000 to win season finale on October 26.“We just missed the set-up tonight. We were just way too tight from green to checker. We’ll come back at the end of the month and show ‘em what we got,” bottomed lined Beers.If he or any other driver who finished in the top 15 in points wins the Octoberfast there is a $1000 bonus to be awarded.
In the Street Stocks the season long run of different winners rolled on to an amazing 20 as rookie Aaron Kromer posted his career first win coming on his 24th birthday.Kromer passed early leader Jamie Smith nine laps from the finish and would need virtually every lap from there on to hold off TJ Gursky who needed to win in order to earn a third straight title.Point leader Chip Wanamaker saw his season nearly implode when he had mechanical issues with seven laps to go and was forced to make several pit stops. He had been in fifth place at the time. Despite going a lap down Wanamaker’s crew thrashed to get him back out to finish the race and although he was a lap down, his 14th place tally was just enough to secure the crown by a scant two points over Gursky.
Modified Feature Finish (100 Laps): 1. Matt Hirschman, 2. Eric Beers, 3. Brian DeFebo, 4. Austin Kochenash, 5. Eric Kocher, 6. Bobby Jones, 7. John Markovic, 8. Chip Santee, 9. Earl Paules, 10. DJ Wagner, 11. Nevin George, 12. Shawna Ingraham, 13. Nick Pecko, 14. Kris Graver, 15. Roger Coss, 16. Todd Baer, 17. Lou Strohl, 18. Mike Quinn, 19. Zane Zeiner, 20. Rick Kirkendall, 21. Matt Wentz, 22. Francis Gross III 23. Terry Markovic DNQ: Jessy Mueller, Randall Richard
Street Stock Feature Finish (30 Laps): 1. Aaron Kromer, 2. TJ Gursky, 3. Jamie Smith, 4. Lonnie Behler, 5. Gene Bowers, 6. Stacey Brown, 7. Justin Mooney, 8. Jason Kuhn, 9. Josh Mooney,, 10. Kyle Strohl, 11. Steven Steigerwalt, 12. Jason Frey, 13. Jillian Long, 14. Chip Wanamaker, 15. Cody Roth, 16. Mike Garris Jr., 17. BJ Wambold, 18. Alan Schlenker, 19. Todd Ahner, 20. Kristy Arthofer DNQ: Jason Beers, Jared Ahner, Willie Knappenberger, Guy Ackerman, Tiffany Wambold
Saturday, September 29: Shangri-La Speedway - Fall Brawl - 2
Shangri-la II Motor Speedway closed out the 2013 season with a trio of Sunday races that left many with race stories they’ll exchange over the winter months. Mother Nature set the stage with beautiful weather, race teams and fans gathered, and day 2 of the Fall Brawl was on. When it was over the hardware went home with Erick Rudolph (ROC Modified), Steve Shultz (Pudgies Pizza Street Stock) and Scott Bennett (IMCA Modified).Ransomville’s Erick Rudolph did something no one else had accomplished in 2013 – he passed Matt Hirschman for a win. Coming in to the ROC Modified Tour finale at Shangri-la II Motor Speedway, Hirschman had claimed all but one race. Mike Leaty was the only other winner on the tour. Hirschman’s consistency had already earned him the 2013 championship, but he wanted a Shangri-la sweep. He had victory on his mind. Rudolph’s team had that same vision. And, on this day, their vision became reality when Erick parked Ed McGuire’s #51 in victory lane.Bobby Holmes, Billy Putney and Daren Scherer won the 3 qualifying events, whose top 4 finishers drew for starting positions 1-12. Chris Whitenight drew the pole position while Matt Hirschman drew #12, something he said he always does. Fans say that makes for a good race, and on Sunday it certainly did.ROC rookie driver Austin Kochenash started 2nd but by turn 2 had the top spot, something he held for 48 laps. Fellow rookie, Nick Pecko, ran 2nd with Rudolph in 3rd. Hirschman was consistently running 10th but by lap 40 he started working toward the front. When Tommy Cloce slowed to a stop in turn 4 it brought out a race-altering caution. The top 4 drivers (Kochenash, Pecko, Rudolph and Tony Hanbury) pitted for a fresh tire along with a half dozen other cars. Mike Leaty, Whitenight and Hirschman all stayed out and restarted in the top 3 spots. Over the next 15 laps Leaty and Hirschman broke away from Brian Defebo and Rudolph, who ran together in a battle for 3rd. Defebo’s day turned sour, when officials threw the caution for loose sheet metal on his car and a suspected leak. Their suspicions were valid, as he was leaking gear fluid and his strong run was over.Following the restart Hirschman got around Leaty and many assumed that was the race-winning pass. Not so. Rudolph continued his charge and got to 2nd on lap 78. From there it was all about passing Hirschman, whom he had easily caught with that fresher tire. Rudolph didn’t disappoint, got the nose of the #51 under the #60 and passed Hirschman for the lead. He held on for the popular win. Hirschman settled for 2nd, followed by Leaty, Hanbury and Kochenash.
ROC Modifieds (100 Laps) ERICK RUDOLPH, Matt Hirschman, Mike Leaty, Tony Hanbury, Austin Kochenash, Nick Pecko, Bobby Holmes, Daren Scherer, Chris Whitenight, Brandon Oltra, Doug Reaume, Billy Putney, Jim Storace, Dean Rypkema, Todd Geist, Tommy Cloce, Bryan Sherwood, Brian Defebo, Ken Canestrari
Heats: Holmes, Putney, Scherer
Saturday, September 22: Lancaster Speedway - US Open- Win
The Race of Champions Modified Tour saw 22 Modifieds take the green flag with Andy Jankowiak, Austin Kochenash, Billy Putney, and Mike Leaty up front. Jankowiak took the lead and held it through a few early race cautions although he soon had company up front in the form of Bobby Holmes, who had started fifth. Holmes was all over Jankowiak for the lead, eventually claiming it on lap 17 after a double file restart. Jankowiak had headed to the pits during the yellow, leaving Holmes with Erick Rudolph, Rick Kluth, Matt Hirschman, and Chuck Hossfeld immediately behind him. Holmes managed to hold onto the lead and as the laps clicked off, Hossfeld moved into second and Hirschman into third. A yellow flag on lap 47 resulted in many cars heading pit side for a new tire, mixing up the running order a bit. On the ensuing restart, Holmes led Jankowiak, Rudolph, Daren Scherer, Nick Pecko, Hirschman, and Hossfeld. Hirschman was on the move, however, and was in third just a few laps later, and eventually taking over the lead on lap 59. A yellow flag on lap 88 saw yet another round of pit stops and a number of cars, including Holmes, ducked pitside. The single file restart saw Hirschman up front, followed by Rudolph, Hossfeld, Scherer, and Leaty. WhileHossfeld battled Rudolph for second, Hirschman was able to build some breathing room up front. Soon the field began to spread out and Hirschman extended his lead up front. As the checkered flag flew, Hirschman crossed the finish line first and took home another US Open feature win.
RACE OF CHAMPIONS MODIFIED TOUR: MATT HIRSCHMAN, Erick Rudolph, Chuck Hossfeld, Andy Jankowiak, Daren Scherer, Bobby Holmes, Mike Leaty, Billy Putney, Patrick Emerling, TJ Potrzebowski, Nick Pecko, Bryan Sherwood, Kirk Totten, Daryl Lewis Sr., Austin Kochenash, Rick Kluth, Karl Hehr, Doug Reaume, Jerry Gradl Jr., Ed Weber, Terry Cheetham, Mike Fiebelkorn Jr.
Lap Leaders: 1-17 Jankowiak, 18 -59 Holmes,
Heat Winners: Scherer, Kochenash, Hirschman
Saturday, September 14: Mahoning Speedway - 93 Lap- 2
In a matter of a few short weeks the Ricky Dorshimer Memorial went from a thought, not even part of the schedule, to an unqualified success, especially for Eric Beers who captured the special 93-lap race and $3000 plus lap money.Held in honor of 1993 Mahoning Valley Speedway Modified champion Ricky Dorshimer, it seemed almost fitting that Beers would win this race. It was the year prior that Beers was the track champ and this marks the first time since then that he is racing for points at the Lehighton paved quarter mile oval.Dorshimer followed Beers into the record books the very next season when he took the championship and now 20 years later and Beers is in line to once again become a track titlist. The win certainly helped solidify that too. With just three point races left he sits atop the standings with a safe cushion over Nevin George and Roger Coss.“It’s just a huge honor to win a race with Ricky’s name on it. I grew up watching him race at Dorney Park and then I had the chance to race with him for a few years back in the ‘90s is something I’ll never forget,” said Beers.“He was a great guy to talk to and a great competitor and he’s dearly missed.”Beers’ win was also a record breaker. This was his eighth victory of 2013 which puts him as the new record holder for most wins in a single season.His rise to the front of the pack came after a hard fought duel with pole sitter Chip Santee. At the start of the event Santee led with Coss running alongside him. Fifth starting Beers linked with the front two by lap seven and it became action-packed amongst them.Santee maintained the slightest margin above the other two who were breathing up one side of him and down the other. Beers slipped by Coss on lap 15 and once he did the race was on between him and Santee. In a tremendous display of two-wide, the race for the lead was fierce.Despite frequent tries by Beers, Santee was not giving in and it produced a very tight battle for the lead. Beers also looked to the aid of restarts but even then Santee was on his toes and would not falter.Then after racing even for a number of laps, Beers reached deep and squeezed out the power needed to get by Santee. It was lap 41 at this point.Not long after Santee would fade and marching up to battle was Matt Hirschman. However, after the long clash with Santee, Beers wasn’t about to deal with a repeat, especially from Hirschman who is masterful at extra distance Mahoning races.He would lead the rest of the way and do so with a safe distance and proceed handily to the record run which was also his second extra distance win of the year.“He (Santee) was running tough. Luckily we got a few yellows and had the chance to race him on the outside. We snuck by him and then I was just worried about protecting our home turf because I knew Matt (Hirschman) and Zane (Zeiner) were coming. This is my home track and I wasn’t going to let them beat me,” said Beers.Hirschman, Zane Zeiner, Coss and Todd Baer rounded out the top five. Heat wins went to Beers, Coss and Don Wagner with Kevin Rex Jr., annexing the consi. A strong field of 25 Modifieds were pit side and those who made the grid enjoyed a share of the better than $2100 in lap money that was spread throughout the finishing order.
When Todd Ahner reached the checkered flag first in the Street Stock feature it marked the 18th different time this season that a new winner emerged.
Ahner, who is the all-time wins leader with the class, lead all 30 laps but had a handful to deal with in the likes of Jason Beers and eventual second place finisher Justin Mooney. It was the 28th win for the veteran driver.
Ahner, Jonathan Tracey and Lonnie Behler collected heat wins with Josh Mooney winning the consi.
Modified Feature Finish (93 Laps): 1. Eric Beers, 2. Matt Hirschman, 3. Zane Zeiner, 4. Roger Coss, 5. Todd Baer, 6. Kris Graver, 7. Bobby Jones, 8. Eric Kocher, 9. Brian DeFebo, 10. Chip Santee, 11. Matt Wentz, 12. Nevin George, 13. Kevin Rex Jr., 14. John Markovic, 15. Earl Paules, 16. Don Wagner, 17. Lou Strohl, 18. DJ Wagner, 19. Terry Markovic, 20. Troy Bollinger, 21. John Bennett, 22. Scott Meckes DNQ: Mike Quinn, Francis Gross III, Joe Stamm
Street Stock Feature Finish (30 Laps): 1. Todd Ahner, 2. Justin Mooney, 3. Jason Beers, 4. Kyle Strohl, 5. TJ Gursky, 6. Jason Kuhn, 7. Stacey Brown, 8. Kristy Arthofer, 9. Aaron Kromer, 10. Randy Ahner Jr., 11. Chip Wanamaker, 12. Jason Frey, 13. Lonnie Behler, 14. Jillian Long, 15. BJ Wambold, 16. Mike Garris Jr., 17. Josh Mooney, 18. Zach Graver, 19. Gene Bowers, 20. Jonathan Tracey DNQ: Jamie Smith, Willie Knappenberger, Guy Ackerman, Tiffany Wambold, Josh Oswald
Saturday, September 8- Mountain Speedway - 1
Hirschman holds off DeFebo in battle of track kingpins at Mountain Speedway
By DINO OBERTO … “Keeping Track”
(ST. JOHNS, PA 9-8-13) In Sunday’s Modified feature race at Mountain Speedway, there may have been a solid field of cars set to run the 30-lap contest but for all intent and purposes most on hand knew this was a showdown between two iconic racers, Matt Hirschman of Northampton and Berwick’s Brian DeFebo.
Between the two they account for 100 career wins at the paved 1/3-mile St. Johns oval.Both have been enjoying career seasons too. Hirschman is a regular on the Race of Champions (RoC) Modified Tour where he has been cleaning up this season and has his sights set on another title with that series. He stays sharp by taking in the local events such as those at Mountain when he can.DeFebo is the undisputed king of the track. He is the all-time career wins leader including 52 with a Modified and like Hirschman he too has been dominating in the win column with nine victories to date.In Sunday’s race they would line up nose-to-tail of one another with DeFebo starting sixth and Hirschman eighth. When the green flag waved to commence the action pole sitter Geary Rinehimer Jr., of Nanticoke jumped to the early lead. Hirschman made a crafty move and advanced to fourth and one lap later DeFebo was on his tail. Lap six and Hirschman was third, still being shadowed by DeFebo while Long Island invader John Fortin Jr., had assumed the lead. Fortin’s time upfront would be short lived as Hirschman was second on lap eight and then began to peek inside of the leader.Fortin did his best to keep Hirschman at bay but that would soon end when the No. 50 car darted low in turns one and two on lap 12 and took control. DeFebo was sitting back in fourth behind Paul Frantz of Scheidys who was having his best run to date in a Modified.A caution would wave on lap 17 and the restart would play nicely into DeFebo’s hands as he shot by Frantz and Fortin and was now running second to Hirschman. The race was now on between these two titans.When both these standouts are on their game, beating them becomes a mere thought and passing either of them is a rarity. Now you had them facing off together in an epic battle which had the collective crowd brimming with excitement.Hirschman remained unrelenting as DeFebo would make every effort to get past. His best tries would come on two late race cautions but on each restart Hirschman was up to the task and went on to score the win. It would mark his third consecutive victory in as many starts.“It feels great and I always like coming here when I can, it’s close to home. With our busy schedule it didn’t allow me to come until late into the season but I’m glad I did,” said Hirschman who collected $1500 and his 20th career win at the track.“This is where I started and I don’t think I have to tell anyone when I come here I know I’m going to be one of the guys to beat. I should know my way around and know how to win races. Everything worked out well and we’ll be back for King of the Mountain.”For DeFebo, it was the second straight time he watched Hirschman lead him to the finish. Disappointed yes, but he collected his thoughts and will move on the next race.“It gets aggravating. That’s a couple times this year we were second to him (Hirschman). I think Chuck Hossfeld (RoC racer) said it best, ‘He’s the Lance Armstrong of what we’re doing right now.’ I don’t know what to do,” said DeFebo.“There are a lot of rumblings when you go to a RoC race. Don’t get me wrong, he’s good but even when you’re the best you don’t win all the time.”DeFebo may have had to settle for second but it was still a day that he came out of with his head held high as he is within reach of an unprecedented sixth track championship.“It’s always a good points day but you’d rather be that number one guy than number two guy,” he noted.Hirschman and DeFebo will get one more chance to faceoff at the season ending King of the Mountain race on October 12. It’s a 150 lap feature that pays $5000 to win. No surprise they have both won the prestigious event. Hirschman has three wins including the past two while DeFebo won in 2003. It should be another classic battle.
Modified (30-laps) 1. MATT HIRSCHMAN 2. Brian DeFebo 3. Paul Frantz 4. John Fortin Sr 5. Geary Rinehimer Jr. 6. Jason Hearne 7. Amber Fortin 8. John Fortin Jr 9. Keith Bachman 10. Donny Hartzel 11. Nick Baer 12. Dan Speeney 13. Jim Bojonny
Saturday, August 31: Mahoning Speedway - 3
When the 2013 season began at Mahoning Valley Speedway no one would have guessed that three-fourths of the way in defending Modified champion Earl Paules would have to wait to garner his first win. However, the perennial champion of the demanding paved quarter mile Lehighton oval has played a game of patience throughout the year and after months of bidding his time he finally tasted the sweet laurels of victory. It’s not that Paules has been shut out completely. He’s reeled off nine wins to date with the Late Models, took a first with a TQ Midget and even won earlier in the week in a 4-Cylinder Stock at the West End Fair. Yet when it came to the Modified, the driver best known as the “Hurricane” could not connect. That finally ended Saturday as he fended off point leader and top class winner Eric Beers in a closely fought battle for the coveted checkers. “When I got out of the car the monkey ran between the trailers and it was a pretty big monkey that was on my back,” said Paules, who last one a Modified race a year ago on the same weekend. “We made some major changes to the car this week and I put it exactly back where it was last year and finally its close.”;
Close, yes. Not quite perfect though. Paules, who started second, grabbed the early lead over pole sitter Eric Kocher. Kocher was running him very tight and an impressionable drive was being turned in by rookie Kris Graver who made this a torrid three car battle. The trio raced under a blanket for a number of laps until Graver worked to second at the 16th circuit of 35. Running the inside and outside lines perfectly, Graver was not only past Kocher but set his sights on Paules in short order. Three laps after advancing to Paules’ rear bumper he thrust ahead and assumed control. The next five laps Graver was looking good but then a rookie mistake befell him. By racing on the high lane he was leaving a wide opening for Paules to seize and that he did as he shot back to the front with 12 laps to go. And not only was Paules retaking the lead but the miscue also cost Graver who was too far off the racing groove and due to that spun, ending any chance of a win. For Paules his night was far from over as Beers was now alongside and started a two-wide duel to the finish. These two titans raced intensely hard while inches apart. Paules then got a saving grace when four laps from the end a caution waved for Roger Heffelfinger Jr., who stopped. That meant a single file restart which allowed Paules enough breathing room to drive to victory. “Under the caution it helped cool my tires down and I knew we would be good for the last four laps. You need that kind of luck here at Mahoning Valley. The caution fell at the right time,” said Paules. “I know this took a while to win with the Modified but I never got frustrated. People who get frustrated are still sitting at home and they don’t come to the race track. I never quit and I’ll always be back digging hard. I support what I love to do which is racing.”; Matt Hirschman, who in less than 24 hours prior had won a RoC 100 lapper at Oswego Speedway, was third with Nevin George and Lou Strohl rounding out the top five.
Modified Feature Finish (35 Laps): 1. Earl Paules, 2. Eric Beers, 3. Matt Hirschman, 4. Nevin George, 5. Lou Strohl, 6. Roger Coss, 7. John Markovic, 8. Chip Santee, 9. Mike Quinn,10. Roger Heffelfinger Jr., 11. Kris Graver, 12. Eric Kocher, 13. John Bennett, 14. Tommy Flanagan, 15. Terry Markovic, 16. Rick Reichenbach
Friday, August 30: Oswego Speedway - RoC- Win
Matt Hirschman Wins RoC Modified Classic 100.
AGGRESSIVE OPENING LAP VAULTS MATT HIRSCHMAN TO BUD SELECT 100 RoC WIN AT OSWEGO
BY JR KENNERUP
Oswego, NY… Patience is usually the key in a 100 lap feature but on Friday night to kick off Budweiser International Classic Weekend at the Oswego Speedway. Matt Hirschman continued his season long dominance of the Race of Champions Asphalt Modified Tour by going from his third place starting spot to the lead in a half a lap. The second generation driver from Northampton, Pa. then made a rare mistake while in the lead as he drifted out of the groove on lap 21 to hand the lead to Andy Jankowiak. On a lap 24 double file restart Hirschman out dragged Jankowiak into turn one to take the lead for good. Hirschman then led the final 76 laps including a hair raising final few laps in heavy lap traffic to claim the Bud Select 100 win. Hirschman’s nemesis Chuck Hossfeld chased him across the line to finish second after starting eighth. Seventeen year old Austin Kochenash finished third after starting 12th with outside pole sitter Jankowiak ending up in fourth and sixth place starter Billy Putney finishing fifth. “A good draw and the potential of weather and starting third, I was going to go right from the start,” said the race winner who was won seven of eight RoC events this year. “ It didn’t matter if I had my dad in front of me or not, I was going for it especially when you are starting third.” Tony Hirschman driving the Ed McGuire owned car and Andy Jankowiak brought the 25 car field to green with threatening weather in the area. Entering turn one Tony Hirschman pushed up and this opened up the bottom groove for third place starting Matt Hirschman. Matt literally jumped into the opening to get underneath his father and entering turn three on the opening lap grabbed the lead to complete lap one. Tony Hirschman, Jankowiak, Billy Putney, and Nick Pecko completed the top five. Jankowiak drove around Tony Hirschman to grab second one lap later and immediately started pressuring Matt Hirschman for the lead. “I tried not to think about passing my dad too much, because if I did I would start feeling guilty,” answered Matt when asked if it was bittersweet for him passing his mentor for the lead. “When he picked the pole I kind of laughed as of all people here for him to draw the pole. It was his first race of the year, I think he had a good run, and I knew he was going to be a little rusty. But it didn’t matter who drew the pole because I was going for it right from the start and take care of business.” Chuck Hossfeld who started eighth moved into fifth on lap three and powered around Putney for fourth on lap nine and moved into third on lap 17 by passing Tony Hirschman. Meanwhile up front Matt Hirschman and Jankowiak entered lap traffic on lap 20 and one lap later Matt Hirschman made a very rare mistake. Entering turn one in an attempt to pass the slower car of David Korolewski, Matt missed his mark and drifted way high in the turn. Matt talked about what happened. “I miscalculated, misjudged a little bit. If I had to do it all over again I definitely would have done it differently. But when you have guys right on you, you don’t want to get pinned in either. It all worked out in the end for us, but that was a fumble on my part.” Jankowiak quickly plugged his car into the hole vacated by Matt to grab the lead exiting turn two. Andy’s lead was short lived as Korolewski slammed the outside turn four wall on lap 23 to bring out the first caution of the race. On the double file restart Matt Hirschman using Bob Bruneau horsepower under the hood drove deep into turn one to grab the lead. Jankowiak, Hossfeld, Tony Hirschman, and Putney completed the top five at this point. On a lap 31 restart Jankowiak tried to return the favor to Matt and the end result was the Jankowiak car getting loose and this caused a shuffle in the top five. Matt was now followed by Hossfeld, Putney, and Austin Kochenash who went from eighth to fourth and Tony Hirschman. Kochenash quickly moved past Putney one lap later to move into third. Matt Hirschman and Hossfeld quickly pulled away from the rest of the field as both drivers were setting a blistering pace as they distanced themselves from third place Kochenash. Jankowiak meanwhile recovered from his near spin on the lap 31 restart which saw him fall back to sixth by moving past Tony Hirschman on lap 41 for fifth and twelve laps later getting past Putney for fourth. Just past the halfway mark many observers were waiting to see what would happen as the lead duo of Matt Hirschman and Hossfeld were closing in on a heavy pack of lap traffic. Most felt that is where Hossfeld would have the best opportunity to pass Matt for the lead. But once again racing luck shined down upon Matt Hirschman as the final yellow of the event came out on lap 58 for TJ Potrzebowski who clipped the inside turn one wall resulting in a broken left front. When the race resumed Matt Hirschman opened up a little bit of a lead over Hossfeld, Kochenash, Jankowiak, and Putney. With 20 laps to go Matt seemed to turn up the wick as he increased his lead to nearly a full straightaway. With ten to go Matt started to enter heavy lap traffic where drivers were racing two wide battling for position on the track. Matt patiently tried to pick his way through this slow car gaggle but it slowed his pace and this allowed Hossfeld to close in on matt for the lead. The once full straightaway lead was now down to five car lengths with the white flag waving. Matt held his line in the bottom groove while Hossfeld driving as hard as he could worked around the lap traffic. At the line Matt Hirschman in for the win, his third at Oswego this year by one car length over Hossfeld, Kochenash, Jankowiak, and Putney. “Maybe some of the early laps I didn’t run that hard as I tried to conserve a little bit. But for most of the race from lap 25 on I ran as hard as I could and at the end of the race as I ran as hard as I could to get a little bit of breathing room. Because that pack of cars in front of me were going at it pretty good, it was a little hair raising there at the end, I knew my gap was shrinking but I timed it perfectly to get to the line first,” said Matt while looking at a heavily blistered right front tire. With the win Matt swept all three RoC Modified races at Oswego this year, the second time he had won three races in a year at the Steel Palace. Matt spoke about this fete. “It feels good to win three out three here this year. We did that back in 2008 and had a commitment and couldn’t run the RoC 200 that year, but my dad won the 200. That year (2008 ) it looked like it was my year and then for four years after that I didn’t win a single race here. I’ve always said that this was my favorite race track as I grew up coming here watching my dad who was a big winner here in the 80’s and 90’s. Oswego has always been a special place for me and my family and I’m glad that I can run well here.” Second place finisher Chuck Hossfeld had this to say after the race. “Our car wasn’t that good tonight, I think most of the time Matty is just playing with us keeping the five car length lead.” Qualifying heats for the 25 car field saw heat wins go to Hossfeld, Jankowiak, and Matt Hirschman.
NOTES: RoC management would like to thank everyone for their co – operation in moving the show along with rain in the area. The quick moving show saw the final checker drop at 8:53 Friday night after starting at 6 pm. With Erick Rudolph racing at Ransomville, car owner Ed McGuire wanted to race this event and he selected Tony Hirschman as his hired gun for this race, this was the first race of this year for Tony. Kirk Totten drove the Modified from the Kirk Rutherford stables that has seen Pete Brittain behind the wheel this year. Ricky Knapp once again in a Kluth Motorsports entry while defending Budweiser International Classic winner Otto Sitterly in the newer Kluth Motorsports entry.
FINISH; Matt Hirschman, Chuck Hossfeld, Austin Kochenash, Andy Jankowiak, Billy Putney, Tony Hirschman, Nick Pecko, Brian DeFebo, Matt Kurzejewski, Mike Leaty, Jim Storace, Terry Cheetham, Daren Scherer, Tommy Cloce, Doug Reaume, Bobby Holmes, Brandon Oltra, Bryan Sherwood, Kirk Totten, Ricky Knapp, Otto Sitterly, TJ Potrzebowski, David Korolewski, Nick Barzee, Ken Canestrari.
Saturday, August 24: Mountain Speedway
Pair of Wins Equals 4Gs for Matt Hirschman at Mountain Speedway
There’s no doubt that Matt Hirschman of Northampton is a threat each and every time he walks through the pit gate at Mountain Speedway and he proved just that Saturday night. After buying his way into the make up Modified feature from July 27, Hirschman quickly drove his way to the front of the field and then cruised to the $1,500 victory in his first Mountain start this season. He then time trialed quickest for the originally scheduled $2,500 to win main event and took the checkers in that one as well. Amber Fortin started from the pole position and led the opening circuit of the 30-lap Modified make up feature from July 27. Barry Callavini rode in the second spot with John Fortin, Jr, Allen Creveling and John Fortin, Sr. in tow.Fortin, Sr. took fourth from Creveling on lap one and then the yellow waved on lap three when Jarrod Nace spun in turn two. Callavini gave up the second spot when he pitted under the caution.Green flag racing resumed and Matt Hirschman, who started in ninth, climbed to third. Brian DeFebo followed through for the fourth spot. Two laps later, Fortin, Sr. grabbed the lead and both Hirschman and DeFebo followed for second and third respectively.Hirschman followed Fortin, Sr. and then made his move on lap 12. He led that lap by a bumper before Fortin, Sr. fought back to lead lap 13. Four circuits later, Hirschman took the lead for good. DeFebo battled hard with Fortin, Sr. for second and finally took the second spot from him with five laps remaining.Uncontested to the line, Hirschman took his first win of the evening over DeFebo, Fortin, Sr, John Fortin, Jr. and A. Fortin.
Time trials were held for the originally scheduled 75-lap Modified feature. Hirschman showed muscle and ran the quickest time. The top six time trailers redrew for position, which put Ken Vogel, Jr. on the pole for the start of the event. Hirschman lined up in second and quickly took command at the drop of the green.
With five laps complete, Hirschman continued to lead over Vogel. Jason Hearne held third, followed by J. Fortin, Jr. and J. Fortin, Sr. The top five remained the same for the early potion of the show and by lap 25, Hearne had moved into the second spot. Dan Speeney also cracked into the top five and ran fifth at the time.During a lap 41 yellow flag for Callavini, Hearne gave up the runner up spot to pit. Green flag racing resumed with Hirschman at the point, followed by J. Fortin, Sr, Vogel and Paul Frantz. Speeney got by Frantz shortly after to move back in the top five.With the green flag back out, Hearne quickly charged back toward the front. With 44 laps complete, he got by Frantz and then overtook Speeney for fourth. Four laps later he overtook Vogel for third and set his sights on J. Fortin, Sr.Hearne worked j. Fortin, Sr, made his moved and completed the second place pass on lap 54. Without a caution flag over the remaining laps, Hearne was forced to settle for second as Hirschman ran away with his second feature win of the day. J. Fortin, Sr, Frantz and Vogel completed the top five.
Modified (30-lap make up from 7/27): 1. MATT HIRSCHMAN 2. Brian DeFebo 3. John Fortin Sr 4. John Fortin Jr 5. Amber Fortin 6. Ken Vogel Jr 7. Alan Creveling 8. Jarred Nace 9. Geary Rinehimer Jr. 10. Dan Speeney 11. Barry Callavini DNS: Chris Young
Modified (75-laps) 1. MATT HIRSCHMAN 2. Jason Hearne 3. John Fortin Sr. 4. Paul Frantz 5. Ken Vogel Jr 6. Dan Speeney 7. Amber Fortin 8. John Fortin Jr 9. Jim Bojonny 10. Rich Parker 11. Jarred Nace 12. Geary Rinehimer Jr. 13. Alan Creveling 14. Barry Callavini 15. Donny Hartzel DNS: Brian DeFebo
Saturday, August 17: Lancaster Speedway - Win
HIRSCHMAN WINS DRUAR & JANKOWIAK MEMORIAL AT DTRP
The premier event of the season for Dunn Tire Raceway Park was the final event of the night – the Tommy Druar/Tony Jankowial Memorial Modified 110. Twenty-three cars started the feature and it was Mike Leaty and Jimmy Zacharias on the front row. After driver introductions and the command to start engines by Mickey Druar and Debby Druar Jankowiak, the race went green. Leaty immediately jumped into the lead but Zacharias stayed in hot pursuit. The race soon settled into a green flag run and Leaty and Zacharias led Jim Storace, Erick Rudolph, and Sege Fidanza. By lap nine the leaders began hitting lap traffic but they maneuvered around it and Leaty and Zacharias soon had built a lead over Storace and company. The first yellow of the night appeared on lap 24 and a double file restart followed. Zacharias and Storace came together on the restart, with Zacharias sent head first into the turn four Thermal Foam. Zacharias pulled off an amazing save however and never managed to hit the wall. He went pitside while Storace was penalized for the contact and sent tail. This shook up the line up and Leaty had a new restart partner up front with him – Rudolph. However, the race stayed yellow as Zacharias’s bad luck continued after apparent contact with Billy Putney on the restart. The damage was enough to end Zacharias’s night. Yellow fever continued as caution flags were displayed on laps 39 and 46. During the short lived racing between cautions, Rudolph had taken the lead from Leaty and Fidanza and first time DTRP competitor Austin Kochenash was in fourth.
By the halfway point of the race, Rudolph led Leaty, Matt Hirschman, Fidanza, Chuck Hossfeld, and Kochenash. While the field was spread around the track, the top six had grouped together, running up front. The competition yellow was displayed on lap 73, allowing teams to run a variety of strategies. Karl Hehr and Rusty Smith stayed out on the track to gain the top two spots, while the rest of the field pitted for a new tire or adjustments. Hirschman, Hossfeld, Rudolph, Fidanza, Jan Leaty, Mike Leaty, Kochenash, Patrick Emerling, Billy Putney, and Storace were the top cars to pit out. After the entire field had gained fresh rubber, the action began to heat up. Hirschman vaulted to the lead right after the race went back to green and set out to build a lead over the field. Rudolph, Hossfeld, Smith, and M. Leaty soon slotted into the second position on back. Another yellow flag on lap 82 saw Smith, Putney, and Hehr go pitside and the double file restart pitted Hirschman and Rudolph next to each other in the front row. Hirschman once again took the lead as the race went back to green and Rudolph got strung out on the high line and was passed by Hossfeld and Kochenash. Hossfeld began trying to reel in the leader and got a break on lap 90 when a yellow flag appeared. There would be a series of restarts in the next few laps as the field was caught up in various incidents. Finally on lap 95 the race went green and stayed green, with Hirschman assuming the lead again. With ten laps to go, Hirschman led Hossfeld and Emerling but Smith was on the move up through the field after having pitted on lap 82. By lap 95 Smith had made it to Emerling’s bumper and was challenging for the third position. All leads and advantages disappeared however on lap 99 as the yellow flag came out for one last time, setting up a green, white, checkered finish. The double file restart had Hirschman, Hossfeld, Emerling, Smith, and Rudolph leading the way and Hirschman once again jumped into the lead. Hossfeld could not get to Hirschman’s bumper to challenge for the lead and Hirschman grabbed the prestigious win.
Tommy Druar & Tony Jankowiak Memorial Modified 110 Feature Finish (8/18/12): Matt Hirschman, Chuck Hossfeld, Patrick Emerling, Rusty Smith, Billy Putney, Erick Rudolph, Mike Leaty, Jan Leaty, Austin Kochenash, Sege Fidanza, Jim Storace, Doug Reaume, TJ Zacharias, Kevin Lewis, Karl Hehr, Dick Kluth, Kevin Miller, Daren Scherer, Jimmy Zacharias, Mike Owadnzy, Tom Weist, Tim Neis, Tommy Cloce
Lap Leaders: 1-36 M. Leaty; 37-73 Rudolph; 74-110 Hirschman
Heat Winners: J. Zacharias, Kochenash, TJ Zacharias
Saturday, August 10: Mahoning Speedway - Twin 50's & 35 Lap
John Markovic ended a 10 year dry spell at Mahoning Valley Speedway, winning the regular 35 lap Modified feature and Zane Zeiner captured the postponed second half of the Mahoning Modified Madness Series twin 50’s on Checkered Flag Fan Club Night. For Markovic, it was an emotionally charged night for the respected veteran from Bethlehem. He raced to an extremely hard fought verdict and was beside himself during Victory Lane celebration as the win came on the two year anniversary of the passing of his father, Jack Markovic. “I’m a little choked up. My dad passed away two years ago today and I know he was watching over me. It was a good night and I’m very thankful,” said Markovic, who last won a Modified race on May 18, 2003. The Markovic name would actually bookend the start and finish of the race as John’s brother Terry Markovic, started from the pole and led the first six laps. Afterwards a very strong running Eric Kocher took to the helm and was accompanied by Lou Strohl. This would turn into a torrid battle for the lead and while those two dueled, J. Markovic put himself into contention soon after. J. Markovic took care of Strohl with the help of a restart on lap four. He then drove alongside Kocher and began a sizzling fight for the lead. Kocher too, was looking to end years of not winning which added to the intenseness of the action filled race. Working the outside, J. Markovic would eventually find his way to the front on lap 13 and it never was a case of him pulling any further ahead either as Kocher and Strohl raced side-by-side while right on his bumper. For a driver with some impressive credentials, a decade is way too long to stay away from winning and J. Markovic showed that he was not about to surrender. He stayed stout and registered his 32nd overall Mahoning win. “I love this sport and I love auto racing and I love helping people and there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing. I want to win like anyone else but if I finish second or third, it’s OK because they’re all my friends,” said the five-time track champion.
“Second or third is good and I come here to win obviously but I’m here to have fun. I love the sport.”; In a near photo finish Strohl nipped Kocher and for each it was their best efforts to date. Eric Beers and Nevin George rounded out the top five.
For the 50-lap carryover from July 27, Chip Santee jumped to the early lead and within five laps had Kocher giving him a handful. Just as he dealt with in the opening race, Kocher was engaged in two-wide action as Earl Paules was neck-and-neck with him. They would run in that close order for a number of laps while attempting to get by Santee. By lap 15 fast moving Zeiner joined the fight to make it a deeply contested four car battle. By lap 20 Zeiner, who was racing on the outside groove, motored up to second and went into an amazingly crowd pleasing dogfight with Santee. They raced inches apart while aiming at the lead spot, Santee on the inside and Zeiner directly to his right. Both drivers got a chance to catch their breath under a lap 24 caution but once the race resumed so too did their awesome battle. “He (Santee) gave me just enough room and he had to do what he needed and I was just trying to keep him down. He moved me just enough up that we were rubbing which you have to do in short track racing especially here at Mahoning Valley. I’m glad we put a show on for the fans,” said Zeiner. With 27 laps in and the momentum of running on the outside lane, Zeiner finally swept past Santee. From there on he would have no problem although late into the contest Matt Hirschman was making a valid attempt to catch him. “I really have to thank my crew because they worked their tails off tonight. In that first race there was a big melee and we got our bumper in it and it just destroyed the front end of the car. But we kept plugging away and they kept pushing me and here we are in Victory Lane,” said Zeiner. Hirschman settled for second with Santee, Kris Graver and Kocher completed the top five running order.
Modified Feature Finish (35 Laps): 1. John Markovic, 2. Lou Strohl, 3. Eric Kocher, 4. Eric Beers, 5. Nevin George, 6. Roger Coss, 7. Chip Santee, 8. DJ Wagner, 9. Bobby Jones, 10. Terry Markovic, 11. John Bennett, 12. Mike Quinn, 13. Kris Graver, 14. Tom Flanagan 15. Kevin Rex Jr., 16. Rick Kirkendall, 17. Matt Wentz, 18. Earl Paules, 19. Don Wagner, 20. Matt Hirschman, 21. Todd Baer, 22. Zane Zeiner
Make-up Modified Feature Finish 7/27 (50 Laps): 1. Zeiner, 2. Hirschman, 3. Santee, 4. Graver, 5. Kocher, 6. Paules, 7. Coss, 8. DJ Wagner, 9. George, 10. Kirkendall, 11. Don Wagner, 12. Jones, 13. Flanagan, 14. John Markovic, 15. Strohl, 16. Terry Markovic, 17. Rex Jr., 18. Wentz, 19. Baer, 20. Beers, 21. Quinn DNS: Rick Reichenbach
Street Stock Feature Finish (30 Laps): 1. Jonathan Tracey, 2. Zach Graver, 3. Lonnie Behler, 4. Justin Mooney, 5. Kristy Arthofer, 6. Stacey Brown, 7. TJ Gursky, 8. Jason Frey, 9. Josh Mooney, 10. Kyle Strohl, 11. Aaron Kromer, 12. Jamie Smith, 13. Chip Wanamaker, 14. Todd Ahner, 15. Jason Beers, 16. Eric Kocher, 17. Randy Ahner Jr., 18. Tiffany Wambold, 19. Guy Ackerman, 20. Jason Kuhn, 21. Steven Steigerwalt DNQ: Gene Bowers, Jillian Long, Willis Knappenberger, Mike Garris Sr., Lucas Santee
Sunday, August 4: Shangri La Speedway - RoC Tour - Win
BY JR KENNERUP
Tioga Center, NY … Over the last calendar year on the Race of Champions Asphalt Modified Tour Matt Hirschman of Northampton, Pa. has been on quite a roll. The second generation driver won six of the last seven events last year to win Tour Championship number five. On Sunday evening at the Shangri – La II Speedway Hirschman found himself buried in 15th place starting spot in the Concrete Castle 75. But when a driver and his team are on a roll there is basically nothing that can stop them and it was proved once again on this day. As Hirschman used every available inch of racing groove to take the lead in just 46 laps to go and record his sixth win out of seven races of the RoC Tour this year. Brian DeFebo with another impressive effort as he led a majority of the race to end up second with Daren Scherer using a new shock package to finish third. Mike Leaty came back from a hot lap scrape to wind up in fourth and Nick Pecko earned his best career RoC finish with a hard charging fifth. “They sure made me work for this one today coming from 15th”, said Matt in victory lane. “The heat race had six cars in it and for a while it looked like I was going to finish sixth and I made a run for it at the end and I thought I was fourth but I came up inches short of making the redraw.” Tommy Cloce and Brian DeFebo brought the 20 car field to the green of starter Steve Kellogg. DeFebo using his strong Morgantini engine to his advantage jumped into the lead over Cloce, Bobby Holmes, Doug Reaume, and Daren Scherer. With the concrete surface getting racier the longer the racing program lasted passing was plentiful early in the 75 lap feature. Scherer snuck under Reaume for fourth on lap two and Patrick Emerling got past Reaume for fifth on lap five. Holmes wheeling the Booker Motorsports entry got under Cloce for second on lap seven. Meanwhile with great racing up front many veteran observers were keeping their eyes glued to the Matt Hirschman car which started 15th. DeFebo continued to lead following a lap 19 restart with Holmes, Scherer, Cloce, and Emerling in tow. Scherer got under Holmes for second on lap 23 with Cloce glued to the back bumper of Scherer to take third on lap 24. But Holmes would regain third a lap later when Cloce pushed up in turns three and four. The march of Hirschman continued as he entered the top five on lap 27 by using inside and outside passes while working up through the field. With 30 laps in the books Hirschman was fourth and four laps later would move into second. Meanwhile DeFebo had a full straightaway lead as he kept extending his lead lap after lap. “You never know how the races are going to play out,” said Matt. “Starting 15th you never know if it is going to open up quick enough or how the race is going to go, I wasn’t that confident in how we were going to do today. But maybe I should be more confident with this streak we got going as everything is going our way right now. But you do have to go out and earn it and we earned the win here today.” When Hirschman got to Scherer for second he proved just how good his car with the text book move. The lap prior Scherer dropped down to block Hirschman exiting turn four, Hirschman didn’t get upset by the block. All Matt did was jump to the outside groove exiting turn two and motor around Scherer into second and start his pursuit of DeFebo for the lead. Hirschman who had a full straightaway to make up turned the wick up in his Bob Bruneau powered Troyer chassis and made up the advantage in just a little over six laps. Just after DeFebo and Hirschman crossed the start finish line to complete lap 45 Hirschman got under DeFebo entering turn to grab the lead officially on lap 46. Hirschman admitted afterwards that he is becoming quite a fan of the concrete surface at the Shangri – La II Speedway. “I really got this place figured out, I got a real good feel for the track,” said Matt. “I really like running here, a lot of times when we have run here the track is pretty green. But look at the track now ( pointing at turn four ) the track has a lot of rubber down and it is black in color. When we got here today there was no black color on the track. I think if we got some consecutive weeks of racing in here or have a program where you have many divisions racing I think it would widen the groove out even more and then it would be sweet to race on. I really like the different shaped corners here on each end here, I really like tracks like that as the places I go good at, the turns at each end are different.” Once in front DeFebo did stay with Hirschman for a few laps but at the checkers Hirschman would win by a comfortable margin. DeFebo who battled for the win here in May before tire wear cost him a podium finish was happy and frustrated with a second place finish. “We finished second to the king of the Modifieds going right now,” said Brian. “ I’ll take second, which is good, but I want to win one of these races. I know I got a really good piece under the hood here today and Matt was just so much quicker going down the straights and that is where you get frustrated when you know that you have a good motor and he ( Hirschman ) is still walking away from you going down the straights.” When asked about the streak that he has been on for over a year now Hirschman was just about speechless when trying to answer the question. “I don’t know how to explain it, it’s just crazy. It’s impressive to me, I just can’t believe it, we have had close calls during this streak, and we have had a lot of good fortune go our way. I don’t know how to explain it, to be honest with you. I’m at the age right now that I should be making the right decisions as I’m at the peak of my racing career. I’m making a lot more good decisions that I was ten years ago when I started this thing. I know you hope you can continue to ride this wave, but I’m very realistic as I know it’s not going to last forever.”
Qualifying heat races for the 21 car field saw DeFebo, Scherer, and Holmes capture the wins.
CONCRETE CASTLE NOTES; First time RoC competitor Nick Shaw saw his day end in hot laps as he bumped into Mike Leaty exiting turn four in hot laps. The contact snapped the Shaw machine into the homestretch wall and he rode the wall into turn one in a ball of flames due to a broken oil cooler. The fire was quickly extinguished and the driver was uninjured but the car was likely a write off. Holmes saw a top three finish go for naught as he and Austin Kochenash got their bumpers hooked with two laps to go. The Holmes car got into the homestretch wall hard doing significant damage.
RACE REPORT CONCRETE CASTLE 75
FINISH; MATT HIRSCHMAN, Brian DeFebo, Daren Scherer, Mike Leaty, Nick Pecko, Matt Kurzejewski, Tommy Cloce, Austin Kochenash, Doug Reaume, Dean Rypkema, Billy Putney, TJ Potrzebowski, Brandon Oltra, Bobby Holmes, Patrick Emerling, Jim Storage, David Koroleski, Ken Canestrari, Paul Hartwig, Jr., Matt Clemens.
DNS: Nick Shaw
Lap Leaders; DeFebo ( 1 – 45 ), Hirschman ( 46 – 75 ).
Saturday, July 28: Shangri La Speedway - RoC Tour- Rain
Saturday, July 27: Mahoning Speedway - Twin 50's - 13
The “Fightin’ Lehighton” Rick Kirkendall raced to an exciting victory in the first of twin 50 features Saturday night at Mahoning Valley Speedway for round three of the Mahoning Modified Madness Series. Race number two was postponed due to rain and will be rescheduled at a later date.
The popular Lehighton driver had been away from the racing scene the past few years and returned two weeks ago in Shawn Sitarchyk’s SVS Abatement No. 80 car. “It was very exciting from where I was sitting. I may have been a little rusty but it’s just like riding a bike,” said Kirkendall. After redrawing the outside front row for the start, Kirkendall went into a torrid duel with leader Nevin George once the race got underway. George was unquestionably showing himself as the car to beat as he steadily maintained his lead while fending off Kirkendall in the process. However, on lap 32 George encountered a cut left front tire which caused him to lose control and smack hard into the front straight wall. Kirkendall was then elevated into the top spot and over the final 18 circuits was forced into a heavy defensive mode as Kris Graver, Roger Coss and previous week Sunoco Race of Champions winner Matt Hirschman all targeted him. For the fans it was dazzling two and three-wide action taking place as the trio all took cracks at the leader and each time being turned away. The real thrill of the race came on what would have been the white flag lap. With two laps to go Graver and Hirschman attacked Kirkendall from both sides. Graver was on the inside while Hirschman went high. Coming out of turn four for the one-to-go signal from starter Bobby Stull, they were three abreast. In an effort to protect his spot, Kirkendall was using up as much race track as possible. Hirschman was looking to take the lead coming into the final two turns and as he was making his move he made slight contact with Kirkendall’s right side rub-rail which caused his J & J No. 59 to veer out of the racing line and slide against the wall. Kirkendall kept focused and carried on as he still had to deal with Graver. Meanwhile cars began to scatter due to Hirschman slowing and in wise move to avoid any unforeseen chaos the yellow was thrown. With a single file restart Kirkendall was able to stay solid and take his first win since 2008. Graver held on for second while Eric Beers, Zane Zeiner and John Markovic completed the top five. Hirschman, although he did continue on after the scrape, fell back to 12th. “I was the meat in the sandwich with those two (Graver, Hirschman) guys around me. It was just so exciting and this was something I missed for a long time and what a heck of a way to come back,” said Kirkendall. “They made me earn every bit of this. I also can’t thank Shawn (Sitarchyk) enough. I have raced here a long time and this was one of the best rides I ever have driven around this track.”; Hirschman, Earl Paules and George scored heat wins.
Modified Feature Finish (50 Laps): 1. Rick Kirkendall, 2. Kris Graver, 3. Eric Beers, 4. Zane Zeiner, 5. John Markovic, 6. Earl Paules, 7. Mat Wentz, 8. Eric Kocher, 9. Don Wagner, 10. Todd Baer, 11. Chip Santee, 12. Matt Hirschman, 13. Lou Strohl, 14. Terry Markovic, 15. Kevin Rex, Jr., 16. Rick Reichenbach, 17. Roger Coss, 18. Nevin George, 19. Bobby Jones, 20. Mike Quinn, 21. DJ Wagner, 22. Tom Flanagan
Saturday, July 20: Oswego Speedway - 1
Matt used smart pit strategy to win his second Race of Champions.
Wednesday, July 17: Seekonk Speedway - 4
COBY DOMINANT IN MODS WIN
Doug Coby, driving the Wayne Darling-owned Seekonk Grand Prix modified, dominated the front of the Open Wheel Wednesday modified event, sharing the lead with only Todd Annarummo i9n the hundred-lap feature. They shared the front row for the start, and Annarummo leapt to the lead with Coby on his bumper. Three lead-changes later, Coby roared home for the $10,000 grand prize, just ahead of Les Hinckley with Annarummo, Matt Hirschman and Anthony Nocella in pursuit.
Hinckley had started fifth and worked his way toward the front, holding third from laps 28 through 81.Annarummo took his lead and ran 26 laps at the front with Coby in pursuit. Coby made an early, outside bid on lap 5, but Rob Richardi and Kevin Iannarelli gottogether in turn one. It was the enf of Richardi’s evening as the field relined for the green.They went door to door at the front and Coby bid on the outside for the front, but Annarummo held him off. Lap seven saw another bid on the outside and then Coby dropped under for the pass, only to have the door slammed in his face.Hinckley bid into fifth place on lap fifteen and nabbed onto Tommy Barrett’s bumper. Another lap and Barrett had been deprived of fourth. By lap 18, Annarummo was leading Coby, who was on his bumper, Todd Ceravolo, and Hinckley.Eric Berndt looped out of turn 3 to bring out caution. Annarummo and Coby lined up again with Ceravolo and Hinckley at their backs. At the green, they were wheel-to- wheel, hacksawing the lead down the backstretch and door-to-door as they came to the stripe again. Coby gained the lead out of turn two and by lap 27, he had the front to himself with Annarummo behind him. Hinckley had come around Ceravolo for third. This trio would dominate the front three positions through the end of the feature.Lap 60 saw Annarummo again run to the front past Coby for another long sprint in the lead. Coby fell in between Annarummo and Hinckley, who was marking time, waiting for an opportunity.Matt Hirschman, who had started twelfth, spent the middle part of the race working through to sixth on lap 71, behind Cervolo and Barrett. He was past Barret on lap 71 and Anthony Nocella on lap 76.Annarummo’s tires had taken a punishing over the stages of the race and Coby moved in. In heavy, lapped traffic, Coby again edged past into the lead on lap 80. Hinckley moved him to third a lap later. On the same circuit, Hirschman eased Ceravolo back to fifth. With 20 laps remaining, top four finishers had been established. Hinckley pursued Coby relentlessly, but was unable to get to the lead.Nocella managed to push past Ceravolo into fifth.Coby earned a .679 second victory over Hinckley at the stripe. Ceravolo’s lap of 12.175 was best on the evening, with Annarummo following close with 12.183 to Coby’s 12.185.Rounding out the top ten were: Nocella, Jimmy Zacharias, Steve Masse, Ceravolo, Barrett and Jon McKennedy.
Saturday, July 6: Holland Speedway - Win
Matt was declared the winner of the Race of Champions Tour race after it was deemed that the car Pistol Pete was driving was disqualified. Here is the story about the racing accident that happened just behind Matt as they crossed the start finish line.
Steve Kellogg came to Holland Motorsports Complex on Saturday to help his friend John Nelson man the front-stretch starter’s stand and handle the flagging duties for the Race of Champions Asphalt Modified Tour Holland 100. Kellogg did more than that, coming to Nelson’s aid in a time of extreme need.In one of the scariest incidents in Holland history, a two-car accident caused the Modified of Patrick Emerling to climb the wall and strike the front-stretch starter’s stand with Nelson and Kellogg on it. The stand, along with about 25 yards of catch fence from the stand down through the front stretch, was heavily damaged.
Nelson, who was waving the checkered flag, appeared to be falling toward the track below but Kellogg reached over and pulled him back, preventing a dangerous fall. Despite the damage to the starter’s stand and the surrounding catch fence, no one was seriously injured.“All I know is that John was waving the double checkered flags at the end of the race and I just heard a big bang and looked at John and he was going down and I grabbed him. It was instinct; that’s all it was,” said Kellogg.
The drama began on the last of the 100 laps of the Holland 100, as leader Pete Brittain crossed the line to apparently beat a closely trailing Matt Hirschman. Brittain would later be disqualified for an altered tire, handing the win officially to Hirschman.Meanwhile, Andy Jankowiak and Emerling were racing for third place. As the pair approached the checkered flag, side by side, they tangled with both going airborne. Emerling went into the catch fence and struck the starter’s stand, while Jankowiak spun toward the infield. In the aftermath, the two cars came to a stop just past the flag stand with severe damage.Immediately, several Holland safety workers, officials, track security and emergency medical personnel came to the flag stand area to assist Nelson and the two drivers and to keep the spectators away from the accident scene. No spectator injuries were reported.The remainder of the race program, which included the NASCAR Late Models and the NASCAR Pro Modifieds, could not be run due to the damage.A few minutes after the incident, Nelson, who was alert, was placed on a backboard for precautionary measures and taken to a nearby hospital. The last report is that he needed a few stitches but was otherwise OK.Nelson serves many roles in the sport. He is not only an ROC official but also works for DIRTcar on the DIRTcar 358 Modified Super DIRT Series. He formerly served as race director at Elegant Builders Raceway Park in Lancaster.Kellogg is a veteran official at various speedways who is also a columnist for the New Jersey-based Area Auto Racing News.“I have been on the flag stand several times over the years at various tracks but after tonight I just made up my mind that I’m never doing it again,” said Kellogg. “They called me and asked me to help out tonight and this is the first night that John and I ever worked together. He’s fine with just a few cuts and bruises.”The accident was a tough way for the race to end for both Jankowiak and Emerling. They had different views about how their accident began.Jankowiak “just went full throttle and bumped me in the corner and then we went onto the straightaway and instead of going straight he just turns right and climbs me up into the wall and junks the car,” said Emerling. “Now there’s nothing left of it.”“I saw a hole there and I went for it,” countered Jankowiak. “I felt like I came off of the corner low and I gave him a little bump in the corner.“He gave me another shot in the right rear when we got on the straightaway and it sent my car right and I couldn’t get off him. I hate that it happened. We were both racing hard. I’m just glad that the starter, John Nelson, is going to be OK. He’s a good friend, we all love him and that’s where my mind is. It was a good race. It was a bummer to end the day like that.”Jankowiak was credited with a second-place finish and Emerling with a third in the Holland 100, according to Holland officials. Emerling is an up-and-coming driver who also competes on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. Jankowiak is a rookie in the Modified division; he had success in a Sportsman the last few seasons.The day began in trying fashion for Jankowiak. He hit the wall in practice and had to make repairs but was able to finish third in his heat race.An hour after the race, Holland General Manager Tim Bennett spoke about the last-lap incident.“I was very proud of our group here tonight,” said Bennett of his staff. “They assisted on the scene the way they should and I’m glad that John will be OK. We’re going to rebuild the damaged area this week and have double features for those two divisions next week.”Saturday’s incident was the second in the track’s 54 years involving the front-stretch starter’s stand. Several seasons ago, former Holland chief starter Dave Sutton was knocked out of the stand when it was struck by driver Jack Gentner. Sutton suffered a broken femur. The good news Saturday at Holland was the arrival of 24 ROC asphalt Modifieds, up from the 16 that came for the 100-lapper last season. Two Sportsman cars, driven by Kevin Miller and Ed Weber, ran with the Modifieds to bring the Holland 100 starting field to 26 cars.
The mighty SUNOCO Race of Champions (RoC) Modified Tour returned to the hills of Holland for their 100 lap event and it was Matt Hirschman from Northampton, Pennsylvania getting the victory after Oakhurst, NJ driver Pete Brittain failed post race inspection. In regular Saturday Holland action, Dave Wilson Jr from Hamburg, NY would pick up his second consecutive win Bank of Holland Chargers and Ben Russo from Lancaster, NY picked up his second straight win for the NASCAR 4 Cylinder Hornets. After a horrific wreck at the conclusion of the RoC 100 which caused damage to the catch fence and starter’s stand, the Getzoni Nationwide Agency NASCAR Pro Modifieds and McClurg Auto Group Late Models will be racing in double features on July 13. Ransomville, NY residents Erick Rudolph and “the Hotshoe” Chuck Hossfeld led the stout field on RoC Modifieds to the green flag with Rudolph showing the way on lap one. Hossfeld used the outside to get the lead on lap two. As Hossfeld took over the lead, Matt Hirschman moved into third and Mike Leaty passed Mike Fiebelkorn Jr for fourth early on. The races first caution occurred on lap six as Danielle Buchek lost the handle in turn one after some contact with Ricky Knapp. On the restart it was Hossfeld taking command as Hirschman looked underneath Leaty to complete the pass for third but Leaty used the outside groove to take over the third position on lap nine. Meanwhile, Tour rookie Bobby Holmes passed fellow tour rookie and former Holland Pro Modified Champion Mike Fiebelkorn Jr to move into the top five. At the races one-quarter mark, “the Hotshoe” continued to show the way with Rudolph, Mike Leaty, Matt Hirschman and Bobby Holmes were inside the top five but the drivers on the move included “Pistol” Pete Britten and second generation driver Andy Jankowiak. Pete Brittain was the man on the move as he started 15th on the grid and the Johnson-Rutherford Racing number 11 as “the Jersey Outlaw” moved into fourth just as Doug Reaume slowed to bring out the races second yellow on lap 45. After several top teams making adjustments in the pits, Hossfeld and Rudolph shared the front row on the restart as Hossfeld pulled away from the field. Patrick Emerling made “a manly move” and went three wide to move inside the top five and at the races halfway point, Hossfeld continued to show the way driving the A-Superior Concrete, Jerry Gradl Motors number 22 with fellow Ransomville resident Erick Rudolph racing in second with Mike Leaty, Pete Brittain and Patrick Emerling racing in fifth. Emerling was followed closely to the line by TJ Potrzebowski, Mike Fiebelkorn Jr, Nick Pecko and Matt Hirschman racing in the top ten. Brittain raced his way to third on lap 51 and quickly reeled in the top two. Just four laps later, Britten passed Rudolph and went side by side with Hossfeld and Britten took the lead on lap 58. Britten pulled away from Hossfeld and Rudolph as Patrick Emerling continued his way through the field and raced his L2 Autosport teammate Mike Leaty and used the “slide job” to move into third as defending RoC Champion and Race Winner Matt Hirschman moved into sixth and tried to enter the top five. Hirschman completed the pass on Leaty on lap 78 to move into fifth. Hossfeld and Rudolph continue to race for second as Matt Hirschman and Patrick Emerling joined the battle to make it a four car duel for the runner up position in the late going. Hirschman passed Emerling on lap 88 and on lap 89 passed “the Hotshoe” Chuck Hossfeld
Andy J moved into the top five on lap 93 after making an incredible move to get on by Hossfeld and Rudolph. As Britten was pulling away from Hirschman, Jankowiak and Emerling were battling strong for the third position. “The Jersey Outlaw” Pete Brittain would go on to what would appear to be his first win on the tour at Holland but because of an altered tire, was found to be illegal, thus handing the win to defending race winner Matt Hirschman. When the checkered flag was flying, Jankowiak and Emerling made contact coming to the checkered flag and both drivers got airborne and caught the catch fence and hit the starters stand. All involved in the wreck was ok and were responding to first responders. “About halfway through the race, I knew I needed to pit” said Hirschman post-race. “It was a kind of night that we needed” Hirschman continued. After the disqualification of Britten, Andy Jankowiak was scored in second place, a career best so far on tour. Patrick Emerling was third with Erick Rudolph and Chuck Hossfeld completing the top five. The next event for the SUNOCO Race of Champions Modified Tour will be the 63rd Race of Champions 200 at the famed “SteelPalace”, Oswego Speedway in Oswego, NY.
Race of Champions Asphalt Modified Tour: MATT HIRSCHMAN (Started 4th), Andy Jankowiak (10), Patrick Emerling (9), Erick Rudolph (1), Chuck Hossfeld (2), Austin Kochenash (12), Mike Leaty (5), Bobby Holmes (7), Rusty Smith (21), TJ Potrzebowski (16), Billy Putney (17), Daren Scherer (8), Nick Pecko (11), Don King (26), Mike Fiebelkorn Jr (3), Brandon Oltra (13), Tommy Cloce (6), Karl Hehr (20), Kevin Miller (18), Doug Reaume (14), Kevin Lewis (23), Ricky Knapp (19), Danielle Buchek (22), Ed Weber (24) Pete Brittain (DQ- 15) Did Not Start: John Wilbur
Saturday, June 29: Riverhead Raceway- 12
Ryan Preece is officially on a roll. The young driver scored his third consecutive NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour win of the season Saturday night in the Hoosier Tire 200 at Riverhead Raceway.The 21-year-old from Berlin, Conn., began the race on the front row and was able to overtake pole winner Ron Silk on Lap 44. Things took a turn for the worse for Preece, Silk and other race leaders, however, when Preece had a tire go down on Lap 95 that collected the frontrunners. But for the second time in three weeks, Preece was able to charge through the field to victory.In the later stages of the event, Ted Christopher looked to have a trip to Victory Lane well in hand, but a caution brought Preece alongside for a restart on Lap 195. On that restart, Christopher was turned coming out of Turn 4 into the infield and Preece was found himself back at the front once again, where he was able to hold on through a green-white-checkered finish for his eighth career triumph.Eric Goodale crossed the finish line second with John Beatty Jr. third. Shawn Solomito and Mike Stefanik rounded out the top five finishers in the first of two events on the 2013 schedule at the Long Island bullring.
Woody Pitkat, Ken Heagy, Frank Vigliarolo Jr., Bryon Chew and Ed Flemke Jr. completed the top 10.With the win, Preece became the first Whelen Modified Tour driver to win three races in a row since Christopher did it spanning the 2008 and 2009 seasons. He's the first driver to pull the feat off in the same season since Donny Lia did it in 2007.“This is a career high for me and it definitely seems like I’ve been having a heck of a month, but I know it can change as quick as it can come, so I’m just riding the wave and having a lot of fun,” Preece said. “Hopefully we can keep winning races.”
Saturday also marked the second consecutive Whelen Modified Tour victory for Preece at Riverhead. He also won in the tour's lone trip to the track last season. It's Preece's third career victory overall at Riverhead.Despite having significant sheet metal damage following the Lap 95 accident, Preece credited an adjustment his crew chief Stan Szaban made when they came to pit to change the flat tire as a key to his comeback.
“He loosened me up a little bit and we could really make the outside work,” Preece said. “I had a ton of fun here at Riverhead. I really like quarter miles – I don’t really like coming from the back – but it seems to be a habit lately.”Preece wound up with a race-high 64 laps led. He’s won all three Whelen Modified Tour races since he was named to the NASCAR Next driver roster in early June.The Riverhead native Goodale’s runner-up effort was the best result of his 64 career Whelen Modified Tour starts. Weekly Riverhead competitors Beatty and Solomito had their best tour finishes as well in third and fourth, respectively. In fact, it was the first tour start for Beatty, who led 42 laps.“He [Preece] was pretty good,” Goodale said. “I just couldn’t get any help down there on the bottom, I needed to be running by myself down there to have anything for him.”Earlier in the evening Silk captured his eighth career Coors Light Pole Award and went on to lead the first 43 laps in the event. Reigning Whelen Modified Tour champion Doug Coby had less luck in pole qualifying, however, as the throttle stuck on his No. 52 and he hit the wall at speed in Turn 1 following his second lap. Coby was not able to start the race and was scored in last place.The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will race next in the Town Fair Tire 100 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Saturday, July 13.
NASCAR WHELEN MODIFIED TOUR - Hoosier Tire 200 - Unofficial Results
Saturday At Riverhead Raceway, Riverhead, N.Y.
Lap length: 0.25 miles
(Start position in parentheses)
1. (2) Ryan Preece, Berlin, Conn., Ford, 207 laps, 36.494 mph.
2. (4) Eric Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 207.
3. (5) John Beatty, Jr., Merrick, N.Y., Chevrolet, 207.
4. (8) Shawn Solomito, Islip, N.Y., Chevrolet, 207.
5. (21) Mike Stefanik, Coventry, R.I., Ford, 207.
6. (19) Woody Pitkat, Stafford, Conn., Pontiac, 207.
7. (26) Ken Heagy, Calverton, N.Y., Chevrolet, 207.
8. (16) Frank Vigliarolo, Jr., Mt. Sinai, N.Y., Chevrolet, 207.
9. (18) Bryon Chew, Mattituck, NY, Chevrolet, 207.
10. (22) Ed Flemke, Jr., Southington, Conn, Chevrolet, 207.
11. (13) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, Pa., Chevrolet, 207.
12. (6) Matt Hirschman, Northampton, PA, Chevrolet, 206.
13. (24) Jamie Tomaino, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 206.
14. (25) Cole Powell, Mt Brydges, Ont., Canada, Chevrolet, 206.
15. (3) Donny Lia, Jericho, NY, Dodge, 205.
16. (15) Eric Berndt, Cromwell, Conn., Chevrolet, 205.
17. (27) Wade Cole, Riverton, Conn., Chevrolet, 205.
18. (11) Ted Christopher, Plainville, Conn., Chevrolet, 200.
19. (14) Todd Szegedy, Ridgefield, Conn, Ford, 181, accident.
20. (1) Ron Silk, Norwalk, CT, Chevrolet, 179.
21. (23) Ron Yuhas, Jr., Groton, Conn., Chevrolet, 117.
22. (28) Gary McDonald, Ronkonkoma, N.Y., Pontiac, 112, accident.
23. (9) Timmy Solomito, Islip, N.Y., Chevrolet, 97, overheating.
24. (10) Justin Bonsignore, Holtsville, NY, Chevrolet, 93, suspension.
25. (17) David Brigati, Calverton, NY, Chevrolet, 52, throttle.
26. (20) Patrick Emerling, Orchard Park, NY, Chevrolet, 49, mechanical.
27. (12) David Roys, Coram, N.Y., Chevrolet, 29, accident.
28. (7) Doug Coby, Milford, Conn., Chevrolet, 0, DNS.
Time of Race: 1 hour 25 minutes 5 seconds
Margin of Victory: 0.736 seconds
Fastest Qualifier: R. Silk (75.694 mph, 11.89 seconds)
Caution Flags: 10 for 92 laps.
Lead Changes: 4 among 4 drivers.
Lap Leaders: R. Silk 1-43; R. Preece 44-93; J. Beatty, Jr. 94-135; T. Christopher 136-193; R. Preece 194-207.
Standings: 1. R. Preece, 225; 2. R. Pennink, 193; 3. M. Stefanik, 190; 4. J. Bonsignore, 175; 5. D. Coby, 172; 6. R. Silk, 171; 7. D. Lia, 165; 8. T. Christopher, 158; 9. E. Goodale, 156; 10. B. Santos, 152.
Saturday, June 22: Mahoning Triple 25’s
Bring together a high caliber field of pavement Modified aces, put 22 of them on a tight bullring quarter-mile oval for three 25-lap features and then watch in awe as they unleash a fury of flat out thrilling action and you have the popular Mahoning Valley Speedway Triple 25s.It was round two of the Mahoning Modified Madness Series and the Triple 25s segment of the high profile races have become a fan favorite. For good reason too as drivers display true talent in racing for the wins in the short distance jaunts and although there was an assembly of star talent, none could equal the display put in by Eric Beers who took the headlines in two of three features. Matt Hirschman was also a winner making it a sweep for the drivers who both hail from Northampton and earned $1000 for each victory.For Beers, it was a night filled with celebration. He was fastest in time trials and started from the pole in the first main. After leading every lap in a non-stop run he scored what was a record setting triumph as he became Mahoning’s all-time wins leader in the Modifieds, marking his 33rd time of placing first.In race one he would prove to be unstoppable as he raced in first place over the distance. Zane Zeiner stayed close to Beers as best he could but in the end it was no contest as drove the DeLange No. 45 took the history making win. Hirschman was third.“It’s just awesome. To get that win and take over from guys like Lou Strohl (who he was tied) and the all-time greats who raced here back in the day like George Wambold and so many others, it’s just an honor to finally achieve this goal,” said Beers.“Time trials tonight were huge. If Matt (Hirschman) would have started pole then he would have won the race. If Zane (Zeiner) would have started pole he could have won the race and the same goes for at least ten other guys. We just got lucky enough that we pulled off a good lap in qualifying and then took the first race. Having this many cars out there and to run so clean is great showmanship and hats off to all of them.”;For race two he came from 12th after a redraw and in distinctive Beers fashion worked his way forward with meticulous precision by avoiding all incidents in his path and in the end notched a solid third.The in the nightcap Beers would bide his time and ride closely behind Nevin George, waiting for just the right moment to make his race winning move. It happened on lap 16 and afterwards it was his race to loose. Not a chance either, as Beers was too strong to overtake and became the first driver to win more than one race in a night during a Triple 25 event. His results also netted the overall winner of the evening. It was also his unequaled sixth win in 12 starts this season.“I have to thank Nevin George for running me clean. I saw his car getting tight as the race went on. Our car was just a little bit free which helped us. I got to the outside if him and he gave me enough room that we could complete the pass,” offered Beers.While Beers’ victories may have come by way of authority, it was a much different case for Hirschman in the middle 25er. His route to winning came after front runners Chip Santee and Roger Coss collided on the final lap.Race number two was by far the best of the trio. With the first 12 cars inverted via a pill pick, Santee had the pole and early race lead with Todd Baer running second. Those two remained closely together with Coss riding third. By lap 14 Coss slipped by for second and from there on he and Santee waged an intense battle. Coss had the inside line working for him and he would take that route to try and get by Santee.
After insistent tries he got his nose underneath Santee as they took the white flag. Side-by-side they raced into turn one. Directly on their rear bumpers were Hirschman and hard charging Zeiner. As the leaders worked towards turn two Santee was slightly ahead. Zeiner, who was on the low groove, then gave a nudge to Coss, hoping to then dive for the lead. Instead Coss slipped up and banged into Santee causing them to spin and bring out the yellow.Hirschman, driving the J & J Motorsports No. 59, was able to steer away from the skirmish and inherited the lead. He then held off Zeiner and Beers over the final lap.“I used up the car really hard. It got exciting there upfront and I went to the outside of the Coss thinking I might be able to get him and Santee. Just as I thought to do that Coss had the same notion and he moved up and actually took me wide and Zeiner got by us both. It was good exciting short tracking,” said Hirschman
Kyle Strohl looked as though he would hold on for his first Street Stock win of the season as he was holding off Jason Frey nicely. However, under a lap 19 caution period, Strohl was forced to make a pit stop due to a flat right rear. Frey then inherited the top spot and would fend off Josh Mooney and Steve Steigerwalt over the remaining distance in capturing his first win of 2013
1st Modified Feature Finish (25 Laps): 1. Eric Beers, 2. Zane Zeiner, 3. Matt Hirschman, 4. Bobby Jones, 5. Nevin George, 6. John Markovic, 7. Roger Coss, 8. Don Wagner, 9. Tom Flanagan, 10. Terry Markovic, 11. Todd Baer, 12. Chip Santee, 13. Earl Paules, 14. Matt Wentz, 15. Eric Kocher, 16. Rick Reichenbach, 17. Brandon Oltra, 18. Kevin Rex, Jr., 19. Lou Strohl, 20. DJ Wagner, 21. Mike Quinn, 22, Kris Graver
2nd Modified Feature Finish (25 Laps): 1. Hirschman, 2. Zeiner, 3. Beers, 4. John Markovic, 5. George, 6. Baer, 7. Jones, 8. Strohl, 9. Kocher, 10. Rex, 11. Wentz, 12. Paules, 13. Reichenbach, 14. Paul Hartwig, Jr., 15. Santee, 16, Coss, 17. Terry Markovic, 18. DJ Wagner, 19. Don Wagner, 20. Flanagan, 21. Andrew Krause, 22. Quinn
3rd Modified Feature Finish (25 Laps): 1. Beers, 2. George, 3. Hirschman, 4. John Markovic, 5. Jones, 6. Wentz, 7. Coss, 8. Zeiner, 9. Oltra, 10. Strohl, 11. Baer, 12. Reichenbach, 13. Santee, 14. Rex, 15. DJ Wagner, 16. Terry Markovic, 17. Kocher, 18. Don Wagner, 19. Flanagan, 20. Graver, 21. Quinn
Street Stock Feature Finish (30 Laps): 1. Jason Frey, 2. Josh Mooney, 3. Steven Steigerwalt, 4. Lonnie Behler, 5. Justin Mooney, 6. Chip Wanamaker, 7. Stacey Brown, 8. Zach Graver, 9. Jason Beers, 10. TJ Gursky, 11. Gene Bowers, 12. Jonathan Tracey, 13. Jamie Smith, 14. Aaron Kromer, 15. Joe Roberts, 16. Kyle Strohl, 17. BJ Wambold, 18. Tiffany Wambold, 19. Willie Knappenberger, 20. Randy Ahner, Jr.
DNQ: Todd Ahner, Jillian Long, Guy Ackerman, Cody Geist, Stone Wentz, Jason Kuhn, Kristy Arthofer, Cody Roth
Friday June 21 : Spencer Speedway - RoC Tour
Race of Champions Asphalt Modified Tour officials have penalized Chuck Hossfeld and Matt Hirschman for their involvement in an incident during Friday's RoC event at New York's Spencer Speedway. Both Hirschman and Hossfeld have been disqualified from the event and will not receive the race's prize money or points. Both teams have been placed on probation for the remainder of 2013 and "any altercation or conduct violation will result in a 1 year penalty from the date of the infraction," according to the penalty notice posted here.
Oil and vinegar. Hatfields and McCoys. Matt Hirschman and Chuck Hossfeld. No matter what happens when any of those pairings get together, things don't mesh well.The third duo and Race of Champions Modified series rivals Hirschman and Hossfeld have had their fair share of run-ins in the past. At the North-South Shootout in North Carolina several years ago to just this past Friday night in the RoC event at New York's Spencer Speedway, the two Modified stalwarts have had several well-publicized run-ins in the past.This time, the result of contact between Hirschman and Hossfeld left Hirschman outside the track surface and upside-down. Hossfeld was disqualified by series officials for the contact. Monday, both drivers were still agitated about the entire incident as they await possible suspensions to be handed down in the coming days from RoC officials.The feud that started several years ago came to a head in two separate incidents Friday.I was working the car in front of me and he got loose,” recalled Hirschman, a five-time RoC champion. “I checked up a little bit and broke my momentum and Chuck had a run down the frontstretch. He dove to the inside of me, I gave him the lane, but I beat him off of two with a good run. I was clear halfway down the backstretch. He just drove into three, harpooned me and got me all crossed up. In the process, I knocked the ignition off and they threw the caution because I was off the pace. I had to go to the back and when I got back up to fourth, he was in third. The top three were tight together and there were enough laps left that I thought I'd have an opportunity to win the race. “Rather than mess with him and get tangled up with him, I figured I'd race to win and forget about what happened earlier. After a few laps behind him, I got to the outside in three and four. Down the frontstretch, I was dead even with him or if not gaining a little coming off of two. He just squeezed me too tight. The wall there is wavy. It's a little bit dangerous in the fact that you just can't hold someone against the wall. It's just not safe to do it.”Hossfeld, himself a two-time RoC tour champion, had a slightly different view of the two incidents Friday.“I was trying to pass him early in the race and he came off the wall and hit me,” said Hossfeld of the initial incident. “It seems like every time I race with that kid, he's either too aggressive or rubbing me or hitting me, whatever the case is. I can tell you that every time, he starts it. When he rubbed me that time, I hit him going into three because he had hit me on the backstretch. I hit him going into three to tell him that I was not happy about it. When that happened, he hit the kill switch or something and he faded. “As far as I was concerned, it was all done. He rubbed me and I let him know I wasn't happy about it and that was it. Toward the end of the race, now we're running third and fourth. We had the two fastest cars in my opinion. He was on the outside and I don't know if he bounced off the wall or what happened. I was driving straight and I don't know if his car hit the back of my right front, but it turned my car into his. My hand to God, I did not turn my car into him, despite what they might want to say or whatever the case is.”espite Hossfeld's claims, Hirschman felt the incident that left him upside-down was indeed intentional.“I just think he can't stand to get beat by me,” said Hirschman, the winner of the first three RoC events in 2013 before Friday's race. “I don't think it has anything to do with bad blood or past history anymore. I think he's got issues and this is the way he's handling it. If I'm inside of him he chops me down and if I'm outside of him he squeezes me out. He won't give me any room because he doesn't want to let me by.“It is an ongoing thing with him. If there's an inch of space between us, he just takes two or more. That's just the way he is. Unfortunately this time we came up on the very short end of the stick. I'm not sure yet how it's going to be handled or how to handle it, but I'm tired of his sh-t, I can tell you that much.”After emerging from his car with the help of track crews and another competitor, Hirschman ran towards Hossfeld's car to confront his rival.“It was a wild ride and I ended up on my roof,” said Hirschman. “The track workers and Ricky Knapp, who was competing in the race, ran over and assisted me out of there. I knew I wasn't seriously hurt, but I was really pissed. At that point, emotions run high. It happens to everybody from time to time, you lose your cool. I don't think anybody would'nt have lost their cool. I ran and found him, but when I got to him, he drove off. There was no physical altercation at all and I didn't have anything on me. I didn't make contact with anyone. I'm not sure what happened with my crew. “By the time I got out of the car, what happened before that, I'm not sure. A lot of emotion, a lot of anger. I don't think there was anyone there, fans, past competitor or current competitor, that thinks what he did was right. I don't think he'd win any popularity contests right now, that's for sure.”Hossfeld was left hot with the actions of the Hirschman crew.“His guys come up to my car, start punching me inside my car,” said Hossfeld. “Like fire ants, this kid comes all the way from the apple orchard and comes up to my car. He wants to jump on my car or punch me or whatever, so I drove away. When I drove away, my spotter said, 'he's chasing you.' I finally get a couple hundred feet away and I figure he's gotta be tired by now. This kid's chasing an automobile. That's how smart he is. Matt Hirschman's on foot, running, chasing an automobile. I just kept driving away from him. I tried to avoid everything.“It looked intentional, but it was not intentional. He went for a wild ride, but again, it was nothing intentional or vindictive. I know how serious those cars are. I've watched people get hurt. I've been racing a long time and I know what the potential is for having a crash like that. I wouldn't do that on purpose. But having said all that, I also am not taking any sh-t from him on the track. When he hits me or rubs me, I give it right back to him. What had happened on the backstretch wasn't inentional. That was just two guys racing hard.”Racing hard was exactly how another Modified veteran, Jan Leaty, saw the entire incident as. Leaty was directly behind the Hirschman and Hossfeld incident was at the end of the race.“In my mind, what I thought at the time and what I think now is it was just a pure racing incident,” said Leaty. “There were 10 laps to go in this 75-lap race. Matt shot to the outside and went into what I would call a pretty small gap. There was room, but not much. Matt shot up there and got to 'chiming,' is what I would call it. That backstretch wall is crooked. Matt got into the loose stuff and started banging off the wall and then Chuck.“They ran out of room, that's what I saw. He finally came over to Chuck pretty hard, they hopped wheels and he went out of the park.”Friday's incident was a continuation of run-ins between Hossfeld and Hirschman that date back several years to the North-South Shootout at Concord Motorsports Park in North Carolina. In 2009, the two tangled and Hossfeld was sent for a hard crash on the backstretch. “People keep going back to an incident that happened at the North-South Shootout,” said Hirschman. “It was something that he knew, and he admitted that he knew, there was no intent to wreck him. I was two to three feet from being clear in the tri-oval at Concord, which is fast and tight as it is. I didn't leave him enough room, I take responsibility for that, but it could've easily hooked myself into the wall and wrecked my car as well. “All the times that I've been in bad wrecks, it's been due to someone else's mistake or something that we got caught up in. Never once have I felt the need to pay somebody back or hold some kind of vendetta against them. It's part of racing that this kind of stuff does happen. Everyone makes mistakes, including myself. I think with him, all this stuff that's been going on, is more intentional than accidental. I don't trust him and I don't have any respect for him.”Hossfeld echoed similar sentiments towards the Hirschman camp.“I'm so freaking sick of those guys,” said Hossfeld. “They've never, ever accepted fault for anything that's gone on. He wrecked Wilbur Hebing at the end of an Oswego RoC race on the very last lap crossing the finishing line and destroyed his car. He put T.J. Potrzebowski in the water barrel at Oswego one time because he was so mad he lost the Race of Champions. It goes on and on. Those are just two incidents.”After continued incidents between Hossfeld and Hirschman, RoC Series Director Andy Harpell had a sit-down with the two former champions several years ago to clear the air and start anew. Still, Hossfeld and Hirschman continued their feud at Spencer. After Friday's race, Harpell issued a statement posted to the RoC website and on the series' Facebook page apologizing to those in attendance for the incident, while also indicating suspensions may be forthcoming.“Whether he's suspended or not really makes no difference to me because there's only about 10 RoC races a year and we'll probably race in the same race about 20 times,” said Hirschman. “It really makes no difference to me. I think it's warranted based on the fact that when he turned right on me before and tried to wreck me, there was a meeting held between Andy Harpell, Chuck and myself. He promised that it was over and done with. There wasn't going to be any more actions between us, but it's still an ongoing thing. He lied to both of us. If he is suspended or whatever, I think it is warranted, but I don't really care.”Not caring about a suspension is about all that Hossfeld and Hirschman agree on with Friday's incident.“I've been racing Modifieds for over 20 years,” said Hossfeld. “If they ban me, I really don't care. It's not something I did intentional. If they want to ban me and treat me like that. January 4th comes around every year. That's my birthday. They're not taking my birthday away or anything else away. Maybe I'll ride my motorcycle or I'll camp a little more or whatever, but it's not going to change my life if they ban me.”Speed51.com will continue to monitor the situation should any suspensions or other penalties be handed down by RoC officials.
Saturday June 15: Star Speedway SBM 125
Hirschman stars again at SBM 125
by Mark Wiernasz
Matt Hirschman outpowered a stellar field of modified racers on Saturday night to win the 3rd annual SBM 125 at the Star Speedway in Epping, New Hampshire. The Pennsylvania driver won the pole and started 2nd after the top eight starters redrew for position. No car was able to pass Hirschman's #59 all race, despite having had plenty of opportunities to do so thanks to 13 cautions. Les Hinckley of Windsor Locks, Connecticut finished 2nd thanks to a late race speed rush. Hinckley raced the #06 Pontiac GTO for the 1st time this season since the sudden death of car owner Chuck Montville. Montville was memorialized during pre-race ceremonies. Hinckley told 22News, "After all that happened with Chuck, we just needed to take a step back and let the dust settle, figure things out. This is where it led us. We'll just go from here." Ryan Preece from Berlin, Connecticut took 3rd. Preece scored a come-from-behind victory in Friday night's NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race. Steve Masse was 4th and new daddy Richard Savary was 5th. Hirschman won last year's SBM 125. In his victory lane interview, Matt reflected on winning again, "It's so difficult to do these things, to repeat them, and go back to back like this. The later part of the race was more like last year. There were a lot of cautions, a lot of restarts. My spotter, he's a New Englander, he gave me the Bruins score and said it was all tied up. We were just trying to pass the time and not let the pressure get to me on some of those restarts." The SBM 125 has become an unofficial all-star race of sorts for modified racing in New England. It also pays incredibly well; more so than some events for some touring series. Only 25 cars made the race, so with over 30 drivers entered, there were teams that failed to qualify. The race attracted competitors from the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, Valenti Modified Racing Series, Race of Champions series, as well as some independents. There were a number of impressive performances throughout the race, but Tommy Barrett's was not lost on the frontrunners and the fans alike. During the last third of the race Barrett's #9 came alive, and he raced up as high as 2nd before pitting. At one point, one of the Whelen Tour teams alerted their driver, "9's been an animal, beware!". Barrett eventually dropped out and finished 19th, 18 laps down. But does an open show like this, a non-points race with a good payday, put more, less, or the same pressure on the drivers? According to NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour driver Ron Silk, "We put the pressure on ourselves. We want to do well. If you have a bad night, if something stupid happens, it doesn't have any effect on the rest of the season."Matt Hirschman told 22News, "It's probably more difficult to win a race like this than a point race, because your series that you're following, that's what you do and what you know. And you should be good at it through your experiences. This is like a once-a-year event. It's a little bit different format, different competition, tough competition, and tougher than what you're going to find at a regular event."Jon McKennedy is the 2011 winner of the inaugural SBM 125. "Whenever I go out I try to perform and do the best I can. There's a lot of money on the line. If you run good, it tends to bring a bigger smile to everyone's face at the end of the night." McKennedy explained. All the drivers 22News spoke with expressed gratitude to the race organizers for putting on the event. They also stressed the importance of supporting the race, so it continues every year. Ron Silk offered this thought on a great race with a big purse: "Just the incentive of being competitive and putting yourself in a chance to win is the most important thing. If you can do it, and we make our car owner some money, or just at least don't lose him too much, it's a good day for everybody."
MATT HIRSCHMAN "DOES IT HIS WAY" MAKING IT TWO FOR TWO
The “Racing Community” is Always ThereWhen You Need Them
by Denise DuPont
With a purse of $45,000 on the line, thirty-two modifieds came to Star Speedway for the third annual SBM 125 with a quest for the win and their share of the purse. The pits and grandstands were full and the air was that of the 70’s and 80’s when pits had over fifty modified teams preparing to compete for the big purse of “Open Shows”. Over the years these shows have become far and few between as tracks have closed and the economy changed.Star Speedway owner, Bob Webber, and his family worked with Kevin Rice and Jim Schaefer (Aka "Long Island Mod Maniac”) to pull together for the third time an “Open Show” just as it was thirty years ago at Star Speedway. There were Red Sox tickets, Kyle Bush race items to be had along with t-shirts, hats, autographs…. Race teams and fans filled the track and pits once again came together to celebrate a special night of racing.The one major absence from this year’s show was veteran car owner Chuck Montville. Montville left the “Racing Community” with a void way too early and he is missed by his family, team and his fellow competitors. In celebration of Montville’s life a special car owner award was established in his honor. Long time car owner and modified racing supporter, Art Barry was chosen to receive the special award.The best appearing car award was accepted by Les Hinckley for the Chuck Montville race team. It was a tough moment but also part of the healing process that the #06 team continues to go through. “We have had so much support getting through all this. It just has been amazing that the “Racing Community” is everything that people talk about. We fight like brothers sometimes but you know when you are down and out they are right there to help you.”When modified drivers fired up their engines, it was none other than the renowned modified photographer, Howie Hodge, who gave the command at race start. Then when the checkered flags flew, it was second generation modified driver, Matt Hirschman, who crossed the finish line first for the second year in a row.Matt Hirschman won the first heat race, redrew to start second and lead all if not almost every single lap of the SBM 125 lap race. “To dominate the performance is just the way that it worked out there with the long green run. We were not sure when a caution was going to come out. Then everybody pitted about the same time and when we came back out we were right back in the front. Last year it was a lot tougher. We had to work harder and pass a lot more cars. This year it was tough enough staying focused and just making your mark all while being mistake free. It was a great night for the team.”After a long stretch of green racing, cautions brought with them restarts and challenges for the lead spot. “I tried all night to run a clean race. I do not think there was a car on the track that I touched. And there were a lot of restarts with Ryan (Preece). I like to race clean. I do not get into banging and grinding. I am glad the way that it all worked out “Do It My Way”. Now you have to enjoy the moment.”Watching Hirschman on the track he makes thing look so easy. But we all know after a long day of racing that things are not as easy as they appear.“ These races are not that easy to win even though it was a dominating night. It is just tough to do this and then come back and do it again. I feel a little bit worn out right now from the focus. Everybody did such a great thing with the car in the preparation and all through the day. It all comes down to me getting the end result done. So I did not want to make a mistake and let these guys down. So it is a great night for the team.”Les Hinckley also won his heat race then redrew to start back in eighth. He came from the rear of the field more than once but his last charge was the hardest most intense try for the win.“Finishing second was a success and that was the most important thing.” Les Hinckley said about the second place finish for the #06 race team. “Matt had a good car and was up front all night so congratulations to him.”Summing up the team’s day as they tore the car down for inspection Hinckley controlled his emotions as best as he could. With everyone’s focus on the second place team’s night, Hinckley expressed the team gratitude and bitter sweet moments that the second place finish brought with it. “It was an emotional day today no doubt and I would be lying if I said that it wasn’t without Chuck. There was a lot on my mind without him here but the guys did a great job and they made it easy on me. I felt a lot of pressure to come here and be successful with all the help that I have gotten from family, friends and the crew. There is a lot of transition going on. I could not be happier to be successful for all the people that have been involved in this. I have had more support through all this. It just has been amazing. The “Racing Community” is everything that people talk about. We fight like brothers sometimes but you know when you are down and out they are right there to help you.”Ryan Preece came off of double wins the night before at Stafford Speedway. He came to Star Speedway with a try to make it a trifecta for the weekend but only a solid third place finish was his at the end. Wheeling the family owned #40 modified in the competition Preece also won his heat race. “It was a good race. And that was what we had for the race. We went for it. We made some adjustments during our pit stop. We just did not have enough for Matt (Hirschman). I am pretty happy. The car is in one piece. It was a good day and as in any open show when you finish in the third place is pretty good. So I am happy.”Steve Masse started this race in seventh and after pitting gauged his pace back to the front. He followed fellow competitor Tommy Barrett as he charged to the front. Masse defended his position and at the end held off the hard charges of Richard Savary for a fourth place finish. “I am very happy to come home with a car in one piece. This is one of the strongest fields that I have competed in since I can remember racing in a modified. I am more than happy with a top five finish.”“I guess what they say is true - cautions breed cautions.” Masse said after enduring several restarts that tested his driving skill. “We went green for 60 to 70 laps and then I do not know how many cautions that we had. But I was worried about running out of gas. Luckily I was up front so I was out of most of the trouble.”The Star Speedway “Open Show” was once again a step back in time for those who lived through the legendary times of modified racing. And just like then, teams and fans left the race with the urge for more. Winner Matt Hirschman had words that expressed it best: “There were some quality teams and drivers here tonight. What I like about the “Open Shows” is that you get a mix of different guys from different places that do not race together all the time. I wish there were a lot more shows like this.”“The open show, no matter how few there are, is still a throwback to probably the best days that this division has had. And I certainly wish there was more of them. I am going to support the ones that there are because these are good nights. ”
“The next one will be Seekonk with “Open Wheel Wednesday “and that is going to be a fun night. I hope that the fans come out and I appreciate the effort that people take to put these shows on.” Thanks Kevin and Jim.So place Wednesday, July 17th on your calendars for the next modified “Open Show” at Seekonk Speedway with $10,000 on the line to win!
Race Notes from Star Speedway:
When Ryan Preece won the NWMT race at Stafford on Friday night he mentioned that the hardest thing to do at the Star “Open Show” was to beat the defending race challenger, Matt Hirschman. What are Hirschman’s thoughts on this:
“I know that there are a lot of guys that came here and paid attention to what I do to win. Especially after the feat that I had to win the race here last year the thought was that I would potentially be the guy to beat this year. And you take that as a compliment. You know that these guys want to beat you more than anything so they know that they have to beat me to win so you have to take it that way.“
Thoughts on “Open Shows”:
“It was a big money night and there are a lot of people that put money into this. And the efforts of Kevin Rice and Long Island Maniac along with all the people that put in for the special awards and all. I know we came out of here with a great night last year and I know that tonight is going to be even better do I appreciate that. I am enjoying the moment looking ahead to the next one. We have a couple of big races coming up in July. I always enjoy that Open Modified Seekonk race on a Wednesday night in the summer. I am grateful for the opportunity that I had and the position that I am in to be successful and I will try to keep the momentum going.”
During the race officials warned Matt Hirschman twice that his restarts after cautions were aggressive. Was Hirschman racing aggressive?
“I was not aggressive on the track. They like there restarts to be at a certain speed. If you are the leader of the race and you keep going a certain speed and do the same thing it is an opportunity for guys to beat you or move you up a little bit. I think that the one time that they called it off it was after all that water was on the track. And to be honest with you I thought that I did the right thing because I had a little bit faster pace and I did not jam up the field where the mess from the water was. But that was their call and we just made sure that we did it right the next time. I just did what I thought was the safest thing not just from my corner but for everyone. In the end it all worked out. It was not aggression but just clean starts.”
“There was not very much room coming up through the corners and he (Matt Hirschman) did not rough me up by any means. But in the end you do what you have to do to protect the lead.”
Max Zachem started the SBM race on the pole and held his own against seasoned driver Matt Hirschman. He was all smiles after the race even though a race mishap ended his night early.
“It felt good to race along some of the top modified drivers. We had a real good car out there today.”
“I have to thank all my crew because the car was really super. We had a plan to do tires and then came in when everybody else did and got caught up. We then came back in late in the race to change the right rear and then got stuck in the wrong lane with the #6 (Ron Silk) and was involved in an accident. But hey that is racing and we will try again at Stafford. And go for that MRS win!”
If we came out of here with a decent shape the plan was for the team to go to the Seekonk Open Show (Wednesday, July 17th). Then we will figure it out from there. It is going to be one race deal at a time unless something drastically changes that. As everybody knows the financial burden is pretty big with these cars. And I can only do what I can do at this point. What we are doing now is a whole lot different than without Chuck here. But we will go to Seekonk and we will figure it out from there.”
Saturday, June 8: Mahoning Speedway - 8th
Matt Wentz couldn’t have picked a better night to end a long overdue winless drought at Mahoning Valley Speedway. With a 24-car field that included some of the best of the best, Wentz led wire-to-wire and scored his first Modified victory since 2004.And it was also Fan Appreciation Night. Race goers came out in droves as one of the largest crowds in attendance filled the track and put seating at a premium.Over the past few seasons Wentz, of Lehighton, has regularly been in contention for a win. His cars are always fast, his driving is sharp but for a variety of reasons had always been cut short when it came to the checkers.Saturday night Wentz was finally able to put all his ill-luck behind him as he drove the perfect race with a wire-to-wire run as the leader and defeated an all start cast of opponents. The 35-lap feature, worth $1800 to win, was caution free as well which only added to the excitement of the race.“We had some fine adjustments thanks to Steve Mooney and Rusty Ahner and we made it go. After our heat we didn’t have anything for these guys and they made the adjustments and hooked it up for me,” said Wentz, who drives the Brown Daub Kia No. 72. When the race commenced Wentz was in charge and within three laps had some serious company with the likes of Earl Paules, Roger Coss and Nevin George.Running under a blanket he defended his spot soundly an awesome group of two-wide action was staking place.It was long before Zane Zeiner and Austin Kochenash emerged near the lead pack and right behind them ran Eric Beers and Matt Hirschman.At any given time anyone one of them seemed ready to strike at Wentz but he never faltered in keeping the stout group of rivals at bay.In the last few laps Zeiner charged inside and out to reach second spot and contend for the win. On the final lap he tried to take Wentz from the outside but time had run out and the exhilarating win was secured. The difference was a mere .058-second margin of victory.“The last two weeks that I’ve been up in front it’s been a lot of cautions and restarts. It was great to go straight through and be upfront for it all. We had a great field of cars with some great drivers and this feels awesome to finally get back to winning,” said WentzCoss, Paules and Beers rounded out the top five. Beers, Kevin Rex and Coss won heat races. In the field was two-time and defending NASCAR Nationwide Series champion and current NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year contender Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., was driving a car prepared by Paules Motorsports. Stenhouse drove to a 16th place finish.
Modified Feature Finish (35 Laps): 1. Matt Wentz, 2. Zane Zeiner, 3. Roger Coss, 4. Earl Paules, 5. Eric Beers, 6. Nevin George, 7. Austin Kochenash, 8. Matt Hirschman, 9. Todd Baer, 10. John Markovic, 11. DJ Wagner, 12. Kevin Rex, Jr., 13. Chip Santee, 14. Kris Graver, 15. Don Wagner, 16. Ricky Stenhouse, 17. Brandon Oltra, 18. Rick Reichenbach, 19. Shawn Sitarchyk, 20. Terry Markovic, 21. Dean Ficarro, 22. John Bennett, 23. Brent Wentz, 24. Lou Strohl
Friday June 7 : Spencer Speedway - RoC Tour- RAIN
Sunday, June 2: Seekonk Speedway - SK $5000- WIn
Matt Hirschman has earned the moniker Big Money Matt for his penchant for winning high paying open Tour Type Modified events over recent years.
Matt Hirschman celebrates victory in Sunday’s $5,000 To Win SK Modified event at Seekonk Speedway Sunday he showed the nickname fits for SK Modified events too.With his motor going away over the closing laps, Hirschman, of Northampton, Pa., was still able to nurse his ailing ride to victory lane in Sunday’s $5,000 to win 75-lap SK Modified event Sunday at Seekonk (Mass.) Speedway. Keith Rocco of Wallingford was second and Kyle James of Ashaway, R.I. third.How much was left under the hood for Hirschman at the checkered flag? The answer to that question came when Hirschman exited the car in victory and told track officials: “We’re going to need a push truck to get this out of here.”Black smoke started puffing out of Hirschman’s car before the final restart of the event, and track officials even stopped him to make sure his car wasn’t leaking fluid.“[The motor] started to develop a miss and the longer we ran the more it started skipping,” Hirschman said. “If I wasn’t leading, I probably would have just pulled off. I knew something was wrong. But you’re leading the race. I’ve never been in that situation where I knew I was doing harm, but the race pays $5,000 so that will go a long way. It’s a hard situation to be in, but I’m glad it worked out.”
It was the first victory for Hirschman racing for Rob Gallaer Motorsports. The event marked the competitive debut of the team’s car.“He’s been with the [SK Modified team owner] Bob Horn for a long time so it’s like working the same people,” said Hirschman, who won has driven for Horn in the past. “It’s like working with family. But it is the first time we’ve raced the car. It’s great to win a race for all the effort they put in building this. He’s been doing this probably over a three-year period to have this car here. For all the work that he put into it it’s great to do.”It was the third big money win at Seekonk for Hirschman. He won the track’s annual $10,000 to Tour Type Modified event in 2008 and 2012. He actually accomplished the feat in 2012 racing an SK Modified for Horn, which he plans to do again later this summer at Seekonk. Sunday marked the first time running the special SK Modified event at Seekonk.“I like it here, I think it’s fun racing,” Hirschman said. “The heat races are a little tough, but as soon it gets later and the lights come on and it gets darker and the outside groove comes in, I have fun here. Some people don’t like it, but I have a lot of fun here. I hope this is something they can keep doing. I think they got a good car count [26 starters]. I really expected more and I think they could do better. It’s one of them things that I scratch my head as to why guys don’t support something that pays above and beyond what you’d get anywhere else. I think it was a good field, but there’s definitely a lot more cars out there.”Hirschman inherited the lead on lap 57 when second place running Eric Berndt spun leader Woody Pitkat. Berndt was penalized for the move, handing the lead to Hirschman.Hirschman was able to pull away from Rocco after the ensuing restart, but he knew things weren’t going well under his hood. The race went under caution again with three laps remaining when Victoria Bergenty spun.“I didn’t want that last caution because I had a big lead and I was able to back off my pace and just stay out of the throttle a little bit,” Hirschman said. “But then I didn’t know if we could beat Keith on the restart because I knew it was a little bit sour.”Despite the issues, Hirschman was able to keep Rocco at bay after the final restart.“First time here, I don’t really have this place figured out yet,” Rocco said. “We got the setup figured out, but second place, you can’t really complain. Hirschman, he’s the one to beat here. To finish second to him, that’s a good thing. The only shot I had was on the restart, the last restart with three to go. I tried to move him getting into [turn] three, but that thing stuck pretty good.”James, a regular in the SK Modified division at the Waterford Speedbowl raced in the top-five for most of the event.“[Hirschman] was right on,” James said. “I didn’t have anything for Keith either. I was really just trying to hold onto to the podium [finish]. We were super loose. We missed it a little bit. But we had track position and it just worked out in our favor where a lot of guys pitted and Woody got dumped. Hey, I’ll take a third on one of these races.”Results from Sunday’s $5,000 To Win 75-lap SK Modified Feature at Seekonk Speedway
1. Matt Hirschman, Northampton, Pa.; 2. Keith Rocco, Wallingford; 3. Kyle James, Ashaway, R.I.; 4. Matt Galko, Meriden; 5. Tyler Chadwick, Ledyard; 6. Doug Coby, Milford; 7. Joey Gada, Salem; 8. Ryan Preece, Berlin; 9. Eric Berndt, Rocky Hill; 10. Tommy Barrett Jr., Millis, Mass.; 11. Adam Norton, Brookfield, Mass.; 12. Woody Pitkat, Stafford; 13. Kurt Lenahan, Roxbury; 14. Jeffrey Gallup, Agawam, Mass.; 15. Tom Abele Jr., Norwich; 16. Shawn Monahan, Waterford; 17. Jeff Pearl, Salem; 18. Glenn Griswold, Vernon; 19. Bob Charland, Stafford; 20. Victoria Bergenty, Plainville; 21. Glenn Pressell III, Gales Ferry; 22. Joe Kendall, Winchedon, Mass.; 23. Jeff Rocco, Wallingford; 24. Todd Ceravolo, Gales Ferry; 25. Shelly Perry, Ashway, R.I.; 26. Tyler Jarvenpaa, Orange, Mass.
Hirschman scores again at Seekonk
The last time Matt Hirschman ran at Seekonk Speedway, he steered Bob Horn's modified to a $10,000 victory in an August open competition race.
The second-generation driver from Pennsylvania returned to Seekonk Sunday for the first time since that big score. The situation may have changed, but the result was the same.The track they call The Cement Palace put on a $5,000 to win, 75-lap SK modified event and Hirschman was on hand driving the No. 41 debuted by Rob Gallaer Motorsports.Gallaer has been a Horn crewman for years, and has done some driving in the SK light ranks. In his younger years, he worked at Hennessey Performance in Norwalk.While Hirschman presented Gallaer with his first victory in his first time out, it almost didn't happen.Hirschman took the lead on lap 57 after second-place Eric Berndt made contact with leader Woody Pitkat. Pitkat spun, and Berndt was sent to the rear for his part in the incident.Hirschman led the rest of the way, but the engine in the No. 11 developed a bad skip and began spewing smoke.Under a caution with three laps to go, track officials pulled Hirschman aside. But with no fluids leaking, he was allowed to continue.He held off SK standout Keith Rocco on the final restart and took the checkered ahead of Rocco, Kyle James, Matt Galko and reigning Waterford champ Tyler Chadwick.Berndt, driving a car also set up by Horn, rebounded to finish ninth in the 26-car field."I've never been in that situation where I knew I was doing harm, but the race pays $5,000 so that will go a long way. It's a hard situation to be in, but I'm glad it worked out," Hirschman said post-race.Hirschman and Gallaer are not strangers. Gallaer has worked with the driver on Horn's cars through multiple successes at Mahoning Valley, Seekonk and other venues.
In the weeks and days leading up to Sunday’s special $5,000 to win SK Modified event at Seekonk Speedway, the talk around the pit areas of the short tracks of Connecticut was of numbers few have seen in quite some time for an event for the cars.Thirty cars? Maybe 40? Some even had ideas of 50 cars in the pits on Sunday at Seekonk.No knock on the 26-car field that started Sunday’s event at Seekonk, but it was an event that truly proved the cliché, talk is cheap.Of the 26 cars that started, 20 were SK Modifieds and six SK Light Modifieds. Those are hardly a numbers that do anything to bear witness to any sort of thriving health for the division.When it comes to Modified racing of any sort, one of the most common conversations is about big shows. Hang around drivers or team owners long enough and the conversations will meander toward the topic of the good old days and open shows that paid big money to win and how it’s something that the division needs to return to having regularly.Promoter Gary Sagar and Seekonk Speedway did that Sunday and oddly, they were given a “Thanks, but no thanks” from so many that make up the bulk of SK Modified and SK Light Modified racing community.That so many stayed away made it all that much easier for race winner Matt Hirschman to walk away with the $5,000 winner’s purse at the end, but even he was left wondering where the cars were.“I really expected more and I think they could do better,” Hirschman said. “It’s one of them things that I scratch my head as to why guys don’t support something that pays above and beyond what you’d get anywhere else. I think it was a good field, but there’s definitely a lot more cars out there.”Granted this wasn’t the type of money that was going to send any car owner into early retirement, but it was much more than anybody is collecting at any regular weekly events.And it seemed to be arranged in a way that would work for Connecticut weekly racers to make the show. The Sunday schedule allowed all teams to run their normal events, come to Seekonk to race, and if they did have problems, they would be afforded plenty of time to make repairs in time to return to their weekly tracks in one piece.And the reality is, the tiny Seekonk bullring isn’t a place where catastrophic damage from any wreck is likely to happen.The $5,000 to win on the line should have had at minimum, each driver that could contend for a win weekly at Stafford Motor Speedway, Thompson International Speedway or the Waterford Speedbowl, in the house.Stafford Speedway’s logo says “The Home of the SK Modifieds” and yet only two SK Modified teams that race regularly at Stafford made the trek Seekonk. Of the 20 SK Modified teams in attendance most were from the Waterford Speedbowl.So what is the answer, or is there even an answer? Can anybody make these type of shows work now? Is it all talk when team owners and drivers say the sport needs more open shows?The cars that did show up at Seekonk Sunday put on a good show for the fans. It was a race that had some feisty skirmishes in the front, lots of passing through the field and the added bonus of pit strategy. It had everything a good open competition, big money paying show should have. So why was it not good enough for so many teams that make up the bulk of the SK Modified fields at Connecticut three short tracks that showcase the division?
Sunday, May 19: Shangri La Speedway - RoC Tour - win
Matt Hirschman collected the win in the RoC-N-Concrete Rumble at Shangri-La II Motorspeedway on Sunday afternoon. For Hirschman, he is now two for two in 2013 on the RoC Pavement Modified Tour and has let the other competitors know that the drive for a repeat championship is alive and well. Charlie Sharpsteen survived a hard drive in the Pudgies Pizza Street Stocks to claim his second Shangri-La II win, coincidentally both wins came while driving brother Gil’s car. Scott Nurmi was the Latemodel winner and Gene Purvis took home the Four Cylinder Stock feature.Shangri-La II, the ASA Member Track in Tioga Center, N.Y. hosted their season opener following a rain out the week before. The Race of Champions Pavement Modified Tour was featured in their first of three appearances this season. The heat racing for the Modifieds showed that the teams had learned a lot with regard to the American Racer Tires since debuting them one year ago. Kyle Ebersole won that race last year, and looked to be fast right off of the trailer. He won his heat race but started the feature in eleventh spot following the redraw. Tommy Cloce won the second heat and started fourth while Hirschman was the winner of heat three and started eighth after the draw. Mike Leaty drew the pole and started along second generation driver Nick Pecko. Jimmy Zacharias charged from his third starting spot to take the lead in turn four as lap one clicked off on the score board. Zacharias had Brian DeFebo on his back deck as the pair set a blistering pace, pulling away from the rest of the pack. The dominance of the Zacharias ride at Shangri-La II showed as Jimmy opened up a two second lead over DeFebo when the first of three cautions flew. Ebersole spun entering turn two. While keeping the car off of the wall, Ebersole brought the car to the pits to check the tires. The restart had Jimmy Zacharias and DeFebo pull away from the field again, but Mike Leaty, Nick Pecko and T-J Potrzebowski kept the swift pair within seven or eight car lengths. Lap fifteen had Hirschman pass Potrzabowski for fifth. Hirschman’s set-up kicked in, and he took fourth position from Pecko on lap twenty three. Hirschman had his work cut out for him with his challenge to Leaty, but wrestled third away from Leaty on lap thirty eight.The second caution of the event came out on lap forty one when Dan Kurzejewski spun in turn four. Four cars pitted for a tire change during the caution, including Ebersole who had worked his way back to fifteenth. Lap forty three saw Hirschman bypass DeFebo for second and the challenge for the lead began. It took fourteen laps for Hirschman to take over the top spot. Zacharias started to lose ground to Hirschman and was running third, behind Leaty, when the third and final caution came out when T-J Zacharias spun coming off of turn four. By the time this last caution flew, Ebersole had worked his way up to fifth after restarting nineteenth on lap forty one. When the green flew for the final time, Jimmy Zacharias began losing ground and had sparks flying out from under the car. He pitted with a flat right rear tire on lap sixty eight and finished eighteenth. Hirschman collected his third ever win at Shangri-La II holding off Mike Leaty. Daren Scherer restarted third, and had his hands full with Ebersole challenging all the way to the checkers. Scherer finished third, Ebersole was fourth and Tommy Cloce ran in the top five all race long, and completed the top five.
RoC Modified Finish (75 Laps)
1) Matt Hirschman
2) Mike Leaty
3) Daren Scherer
4) Kyle Ebersole
5) Tommy Cloce
6). Brian DeFebo
7) Rusty Smith
8) Austin Kochenash
9) Nick Pecko
10) T.J. Potrzebowski
11) Doug Reaume
12) Billy Putney
13) Nick Barzee
14) Michael Fiebelkorn
15) Dean Rypkema
16) Dave Koroleski
17) Brandon Oltra
18) Jimmy Zacharias
19) T-J Zacharias
20) Dan Kurzejewski
21) Mike Odwazny
22) Ken Canestrari
23) Matt Clemens
24) Chris Whitenight
25) Don King, Jr.
Heat Winners: Kyle Ebersole, Tommy Cloce, Matt Hirschman
Saturday, May 18: Mahoning Speedway - 3rd
Five races into the 2013 season and Eric Beers of Northampton is off to a fantastic start as he won his second straight feature and third of the year. Fresh off a 100-lap victory, Beers was able to move to the lead after a lap 18 restart and then withstood numerous attempts by Roger Coss to earn the $1800 victory.
“It’s a lot of luck and right now we have luck on our side and hope it stays there,” said Beers.It was a family front row for the start of the race as DJ Wagner and his father, Don, brought the field to the green with. The elder of the two immediately showed his experience as he jumped out front but the son then rose to the occasion as he passed his father on lap three. This marked the first time in track history that a father and son were running 1-2 in a Modified feature.Chip Santee had a close seat from third spot and made haste within the first four laps as he put Don Wagner back a spot and then set forth towards DJ Wagner. A two-time Mahoning champ, Santee went into a side-by-side duel after a lap seven restart and while racing from the outside lane made his way into the lead by the next go around.DJ Wagner, a sophomore with the class, then fought right back and retook the position with the completion of lap nine. Don Wagner was able to follow and was protecting his spot which also enabled his son the keep ahead of the pack. Santee continued to show his might, however, and was insistent on getting by Don Wagner. Kris Graver was also part of the closeness as he and Santee ran two-wide while riding on Don Wagner’s tail.On lap 18 the heated contest for second came to a sudden halt when Don Wagner and Santee made contact in turn two and several cars behind had to take evasive action. Beers and Coss eluded from the melee and when the race resumed were lined up second and third. Beers then made quick work of DJ Wagner as he surged into the lead and took Coss along with him.“We were very lucky tonight. We started eleventh behind a lot of really good race cars. We ran the bottom on a few of the restarts and then there was that one jingle when a couple guys got together and that got us about five cheap spots and I didn’t have to pass Earl (Paules), Nevin (George), Chip (Santee) or any other of those guys because when that tangle with all them happened I was able to sneak by,” said Beers.From there on Coss never gave Beers much breathing room as he tried several times, specifically after a few restarts, to make his way by.“Roger (Coss) is a good racer and I he always runs you clean. He hung there with us and if the shoe would have been on the other foot I would have been chasing him,” offered Beers.Matt Hirschman drove a steady race and was third at the finish. Earl Paules, fought his way to fourth while DJ Wagner took a career high fifth. Santee and Paules won their respective prelims.“He (Beers) was a little better than me and he drove me real clean and I tried to race him the same way and it just makes for a better show,” said Coss. “I think the only way I could get by him is if he messed up and I heard his name for a long time I didn’t think that was going to happen so I was happy to settle for second.”; Zach Graver of Lehighton became the fifth different winner in as many weeks with the Street Stocks. Graver had an early battle with Kristy Arthofer as they swapped the lead back and forth over the first half of the 25-lapper.From the 14th tour on, however, it would be all Graver as he stayed out front from there on and was unchallenged in the process.Jonathan Tracy and Josh Mooney came home second and third respectively while Arthofer and Jillian Long rounded out the first five.Jason Beers, Arthofer and BJ Wambold won heats while Chip Wanamaker scored the consi win.
Modified Feature Finish (35 Laps): 1. Eric Beers, 2. Roger Coss, 3. Matt Hirschman, 4. Earl Paules, 5. DJ Wagner, 6. Chip Santee, 7. Nevin George, 8. Don Wagner, 9. Terry Markovic, 10. Matt Wentz, 11. Joe Mooney, 12. Roger Heffelfinger, Jr., 13. Kris Graver, 14. Eric Kocher, 15. Todd Baer, 16. Kevin Rex, Jr., 17. Ron Missmer
Street Stock Feature Finish (25 Laps): 1. Zach Graver, 2. Jonathan Tracey, 3. Josh Mooney, 4. Kristy Arthofer, 5. Jillian Long, 6. Chip Wanamaker, 7. Steven Steigerwalt, 8. Jason Beers, 9. Gene Bowers, 10. Justin Mooney, 11. Cody Roth, 12. Jason Frey, 13. Randy Ahner, Jr., 14. Todd Ahner, 15. Jason Kuhn, 16. BJ Wambold, 17. Stacey Brown, 18. Kyle Strohl, 19. TJ Gursky, 20. Lonnie Behler Did not qualify: Randy Schlenker, Joe Roberts, Jamie Smith, Aaron Kromer, Cody Geist, Guy Ackerman, Tiffany Wambold, Justin Missmer, Jim Rost
Sunday, May 5: Chemung Speedway - RoC Tour-WIN
Ten weeks ago defending and five time Race of Champions Asphalt Modified Tour champion Matt Hirschman of Northampton, Pa. suffered a fractured wrist in a racing accident while competing in Florida. Following surgery and a recovery period the second generation driver returned to racing this past weekend and in his second race of the weekend in less than 24 hours, he returned to victory lane. Matt started 13th and early on in the 75 lap feature event he was getting bumped and banged around like most of his competitors were. Matt somehow got enough breaks to work himself into contention by reaching fifth on lap 22. Luck played another big role for Hirschman as he moved into second on lap 31 by not passing a single car, as position advancement was by cars involved in accidents in front of Matt. Hirschman took the lead for good on a lap 32 restart when leader Austin Kochenash spun his tires exiting turn four which jammed up his transmission. Hirschman was challenged for the lead over the final 45 laps by 21st place starter Brian DeFebo of Berwick, Pa. who had to pit early in the race with a right front flat. DeFebo who was racing with the wrong rear end gear ratio in the car just didn’t have enough power to get around Hirschman and settled for second. East Aurora, NY driver Billy Putney who started 18th at the beginning of the event ended up with a Chemung best third place finish. Fourth went to Binghamton, NY driver Daren Scherer while Springville, NY driver Patrick Emerling finished fifth. “It seemed like we all were a little rusty and racing on the edge today – including myself”, said Matt when speaking about the feature which had 14 yellow flag periods. “I just broke through the pack when a couple of guys in front of me tangled and when I got toward the front I got my rhythm back to get out in front. It was a good finish to a rough day here.”Hirschman spoke about what could have caused the rough driving that took place throughout the afternoon of racing. “There was no need to pit for tires here today because we were only going 75 laps, compared to 125 the last few years we have raced here. I wanted to make progress in going forward as the race wore on, but I got bounced around there early in the race and went backwards a little.”“ I didn’t miss any races that would have bothered me while I was out,” answered Matt about not racing for te weeks due to injury. “I worked towards this weekend during my recovery as it gave me enough time to heal and I could make the opener to defend my RoC championship and the Mahoning Series last night which we got a third in.”“My body is a little sore right now but I’m glad to get this weekend out of the way and I can get in my routine now. It is good to be back.”“It’s like a victory by finishing second,” said Brian DeFebo who ended up second. “We had a rough start to the day as I put the wrong gears in the car to come here and that hurt us a little bit. But the second is my best career RoC finish and sets us up to have a good year on the series.” DeFebo who started 21st suffered a right front flat on lap 13 but methodically worked his way back through the carnage to get into the second and dog Hirschman for the win over the final 45 laps. “We were up to 14th at that point and I knew we had a good car but got the flat. Coming back up through the field we got some breaks and I’ll take a second here any day.”Big track specialist Billy Putney got his career best Chemung finish with a third. “We had a left front tire going down there at the end but I’m ecstatic with a third here. I haven’t been here in five years because I never leave here with the car straight. But today the car is straight and maybe it won’t take me five years to come back.”Qualifying for the 29 car field saw heat wins captured by Rusty Smith, Kochenash, Emerling, and Pete Brittain, while DeFebo won the B Main.DROME DROPPINGS… a very healthy sized crowd came out on a perfect afternoon of racing that featured an excellent field of Modifieds to start the season. RoC officials report that between three and six new teams will be joining the field for the next race in two weeks, these teams were not ready to race on this day. Zane Zeiner drove the backup Dan Kurzejewski Modified while Pete Brittain wheeled the Kirk Rutherford wrenched entry. David Korolewski has joined the RoC Tour in a former TJ Potrzebowski mount and will be a teammate to “The Piranha. “ TJ’s strong run was curtailed by a leak in the rear end. Pete Brittain had a disappointing return after drawing the pole position for the feature…Eventual mechanical issues sidelined the former series Champion…During intermission the 2012 point fund totaling $30,000 was distributed along with special awards. Hirschman won the Owner of the Year while TJ Zacharias was named Rookie of the Year, Erick Rudolph was the Best Appearing Car, and Kyle Ebersole was Most Improved Driver.
RoC PROVISIONAL; Fiebelkorn.
DNQ; Matt Clemens.
DNS; Terry Zacharias.
LAP LEADERS; Kochenash ( 1 – 20 ), ( 22 – 31 ), J. Zacharias ( 21 ), Hirschman ( 32 – 75 ).
RACE OF CHAMPIONS ASPHALT MODIFIED TOUR OFFICIAL FINISH
SUNDAY, MAY 5TH – CHEMUNG SPEEDROME
Finish Car no. Driver Starting Position
1. 60 Matt Hirschman 13th
2. 53 Brian DeFebo 20th
3. 88 Billy Putney 18th
4. 3 Daren Scherer 5th
5. 07 Patrick Emerling 8th
6. p51 Erick Rudolph 7th
7. 22 Chuck Hossfeld 10th
8. 66 Austin Kochenash 2nd
9. 27 Zane Zeiner 14th
10. 42p Nick Pecko 15th
11. 14 Doug Reaume 24h
12. 24 Dean Rypkema 16th
13. 9 Brandon Oltra 17th
14. 21 Dan Kurzejewski 27th
15. 25 Mike Leaty 4th
16. 95 Bryan Sherwood 23rd
17. 42 Tony Hanbury 25th
18. 71 Jimmy Zacharias 11th
19. 5 Kyle Ebersole 12th
20. 59 Karl Hehr 22nd
21. 71z T.J. Zacharias 9th
22. 34 Rusty Smith 6th
23. 69 Tommy Cloce 20th
24. 10 Mike Fibelkorn 26th
25. 72 T.J. Potrzebowski 3rd
26. 11 Pete Brittain 1st
27. 7 David Koroleski 22nd
American Racer Hard Charger – Brian DeFebo (20th to 2nd)
American Racer Hard Luck Award – Pete Brittain (1st to 26th)
Next Event – Sunday, May 19th – Shangri La II Motor Speedway – Tioga Center, NY
Matt Hirschman rallies to win ROC Modified race at Chemung Speedrome opening
Written by Ron Levanduski May. 05
The second generation driver from Northhampton, Pa., who resumed racing this weekend after an early-season injury, returned to form midway into the 75-lap series season opener.Aided by mistakes from several of the front runners, the defending series champion took an improbable victory before about 2,000 fans.
“It was my first weekend racing and it took me about halfway to get my rhythm back,” said Hirschman. “I was trying to get my groove here and we got it going at the end.”Brian Defebo of Berwick, Pa., finished five car lengths back in second. It was a career-best finish for Defebo in the ROC series.
The ROC race headlined the season opener at the Speedrome, which also saw Jeff Goodwin of Pine City win the Super Stocks feature and Todd McCollum of Bridgewater, N.J. victorious in the INEX Legends race.“We finished second against the best right now,” said Defebo, of the five-time ROC Series champion. “It couldn’t have asked for more than what I ended up with here today.”Fans saw plenty of action, whether racing for position or crashing into barriers and one another.
Among the first-time fans at the Speedrome was Woody Woodward and his wife, Robin, of Red Hill, Pa., near Philadelphia.“I came up for the ROC race,” he said. “This is an excellent facility here.”The caution filled day of racing was evidence that Hirschman was not the only driver trying to shake off the winter rust.
“I think we were all a little rough around the edges out there today,” said Hirschman, who was cleared to race this weekend after breaking his left wrist in a Modified race at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway in February.Slaytington, Pa., teenager Austin Kochunash led the first 20 laps and looked poised for victory. But he missed a shift on a lap 31 restart and caused a Turn 1 wreck. The 17-year-old recovered to finish eighth in the 27-car field. Several other front runners had problems, including Elmira’s T. J. Potrzebowski, who was running second when his car developed a rear end leak during a lap 20 caution and had to retire from the race. He was credited with 25th place. Hirschman, who competed Saturday night at Mahoning Valley Speedway in Leighton, Pa., was off his game in practice and his heat race at the Speedrome. He started the ROC feature 13th and, uncharacteristically, had not gained a spot after 13 laps.By lap 23, however, he was up to fourth and eight laps later grabbed first for good when Kochunash had his problem.“There were a couple of close calls but then a bunch of guys kept tangling and we kept moving up and then we raced our way up into the top spot,” Hirschman said. “I tried to keep a level head call day.”
Saturday, May 4: Mahoning Speedway - 100 Laps- 3rd
Eric Beers has become the undisputed leader in long distance Modified features at Mahoning Valley Speedway as the Northampton star took the win in the opening round of the Modified Madness Series. In front of a full house Beers bested a stellar field to notch his eighth career 100 lap race.
Driving the Dave and Laura Delange No. 45, Beers went around early leader Chip Santee on lap 15 and then onto a convincing victory.
“The car was flawless the first 30 laps. I saw Chip (Santee) starting to tighten up at the end of that long run we had at the beginning. I took my opportunity there because if I would have waited until later I don’t think I would have got him,” said Beers, who earned $3000 for the night’s work.
Time trials locked in the top 12 cars with Chuck Hossfeld setting the quick time at 9.702-seconds at 92.764 mph. Afterwards a redraw was held and Santee drew the pole with Matt Wentz joining him on the front row. In the second row were Hossfeld and Beers.
Santee would jump out to the early lead with Wentz, Beers, Hossfeld and Nevin George in tow. Santee was showing some good power and likewise with Wentz who had both been going through a rough couple weeks.
Beers went two-wide and made the pass for second over Wentz with twelve circuits complete. He then set his sights on Santee. Advancing by way of the outside groove, he caught and then overtook Santee with the completion of lap 14.
It’s a rarity to see Beers falter after taking a race lead at Mahoning Valley and this would be no different as his Horwith Freightliner entry was riding on rails with perfectly turned laps one after another.
While Beers was cruising ahead, there waged a great battle between Santee and Hossfeld. They continued to swap second spot while running most times in a two-wide formation. George was also hanging closely with them.
Santee took second place for good after a lap 59 restart but that would be as far to the front he would go as Beers remained undisputedly in control. Those two clearly had the rest of the pack well covered, but behind them some outstanding action was unfolding.
Hossfeld had a bumper full of George and Wentz and heading into the very late stages he was dealing with Earl Paules, Matt Hirschman, John Markovic and Zane Zeiner.
Paules and Hirschman were taking a stab at Hossfeld with six laps to go. Under tight race conditions, Paules touched Hossfeld and veered hard into the turn three wall to end his night with three laps remaining.
On the final restart Hirschman made a swift move on Hossfeld and then a last ditch effort to go by Santee but fell short by a half car length at the finish. Zeiner and Markovic went past Hossfeld with two laps to go and completed the top five.
For Beers it was his second win in four starts and marked his 30th career win at the track.
“My car owners Dave and Laura Delange give me what I need to put the power down on the race track. You got guys here like Chuck Hossfeld, Matt Hirschman, Chip Santee, Donny Wagner. There are ten guys or better that could be standing here where I am and I was just the lucky that beat them tonight,” said Beers.
Auto racing roundup -- Hirschman drives Horn's mod to 3rd in return from injury
Staff reports | Posted: Monday, May 6, 2013 7:30 pm
Matt Hirschman made his belated season debut Saturday night and showed no ill effects the badly broken wrist he suffered in Feburary during the Battle at the Beach at Daytona.
The second-generation driver wheeled the No. 50 owned by East Norwalk's Bob Horn to a hard-fought third-place finish in the 100-lap feature at Mahoning Valley Speedway in Lehighton, Pa.
The 30-year-old Pennsylvania was the fifth fastest in time trials for the event -- the first in the Mahoning Modifield Madness series -- but started 11th in the 20-car field after a redraw for starting spots among the top 12 time trialers.
Hirschman cracked the top 10, but was shuffled back when he was caught on the outside after a mid-race restart.
He was still mired in 11th on a restart with about 40 laps to go. From there, Hirschman began a steady climb through the field on the tight quarter-miler.
He was third on the final restart of the race with 97 laps in the books, and made a strong inside run on second-place runner Chip Santee with two to go but ran out of room.
Former NASCAR modified tour runner Eric Beers won the event, with Santee second and Hirschman holding off a last-turn charge by Zane Zeiner to take third.
It was Beers' eighth win in a 100-lap event at Mahoning, snapping a tie between he and Hirschman for the most 100-lap wins since the track's re-opening in the late 1980s. All seven of Hirschman's century scores have come aboard Horn's car.
Hircshman ready for Mahoning Modified 100
Matt Hirschman is set to make his first start since his accident at Daytona International Speedway during the Battle at the Beach in February of this year where he broke his left wrist and had been sidelined since then.30-year old Hirschman of Northampton will be heading to Mahoning Valley Speedway this coming Saturday night, May 4 for the opening event in the 2013 Mahoning Modified Madness Series (MMMS).During Budweiser Speedweeks a 150-lap NASCAR Modified event was held on Daytona’s Super Stretch. Hirschman was caught up in a mid-race skirmish that resulted in him breaking his left wrist. He had to return home the next day where he had surgery and went through the healing and rehab process.Doctors have now given him the green light to return to the seat of race car and Hirschman is eager to get back to business.“It’s a weekend that I sort of had in mind as a goal all along because it’s something I want to be a part of for the season. I hated to miss all of Apri but I didn’t miss anything special so I was looking forward to this weekend. I’m glad everything healed up well and I got the clearance to race this week,” said Hirschman.“I’m not in the racing position that I’m typically in. But racing is a unique sport and I feel the best conditioning you can do for racing is to race.”Saturday’s race is a 100-lap, $3000-to-win feature. When it comes to 100-lappers at Mahoning Valley, no one can boast the results that Hirschman has. Seven of his nine career Mahoning wins have come in 100-lap events including the inaugural Octoberfast 130 last season. He is the winningest driver in Modified long distance events.“We have a great track record here the past few years. I have always preferred the 100 lap races at Mahoning Valley. Some of them we’ve been in over the years are about as good as any racing I’ve seen or been a part of anywhere. I think they’re a lot of fun to be part of for both the drivers and fans,” said Hirschman.Hirschman will be racing the Bob Horn owned No.50, a car that has given him the most success at the paved quarter mile oval.The MMMS is now in its second year. Once again a $6000 purse will be divided amongst the top overall point finishers in the special five race series. The champ will earn $2000 with $1500 to the runner-up, $1000 for 3rd, $700 for 4th, $500 for 5th and $300 to 6th plus all regular monies being paid for each night of racing in those respective shows. Zane Zeiner won the inaugural MMMS and will be defending his title.This year’s series format will entail 100-lap features on May 4 and October 5, triple 25s on June 22, twin-50s on July 27 and the season ending $5000-to-win Octoberfast 130-lapper on October 26.Time trials will be held with the top 12 locked into the feature. They will also have a redraw for those same string spots. All others will qualify via B mains. 22 cars will start the race. There will be 50 bonus points to all drivers who make a time trial attempt.Current point leader Austin Kochenash has won two of the first three races including a 50-lapper on Opening Night. The other win went to Eric Beers. Defending champion Earl Paules has finished twice to each of them. Nevin George has finished in the top five in each ’13 race while multi time titlist John Bennett has looked very strong.Along with the aforementioned there is a host of others that stand a great chance as any to claim the $3000 top prize.“I’ve been there watching the first three weeks and the racing has been great. I’ve been paying attention and I think I know who we have to beat this weekend if I’m going to hold the trophy at the end of the night,” said Hirschman.Late Models, Street Stocks, Dirt Mods and Hobby Stocks are also on the card. The 4-Cylinder Stocks will have the night off.Race time is 6:00 p.m. Pit gates will open at 11:30. There will be early paid practice from 12:30 to 3:00. Regular warm-ups will be held from 4:00 – 5:00. Adult general admission is $20. $2.00 off for students, seniors 65 + and active military, must have ID. Children 10 and under are free.Mahoning Valley Speedway is located on PA route 443, two miles west of Lehighton. Additional info can be found on the track’s website at www.mahoningvalley-speedway.com Also on Facebook at Mahoning Valley Speedway.
Friday, Feb 15: New Smyrna Tour Modified: 35 Laps
Saturday, Feb 16: New Smyrna Tour Modified: 35 Laps
Tuesday, February 18: Daytona Speedway
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